Intended for healthcare professionals


Healthcare reform forms a big part of Obama’s budget

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 03 March 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b892
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    Barack Obama’s proposed $3.1 trillion budget includes $634bn (£450bn; €500bn) for healthcare reform, including universal health insurance coverage, electronic medical records, and preventive health care.

    He has nominated Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, the Democratic governor in a Republican state, as head of the Department of Health and Human Services, and will convene a White House healthcare summit meeting this week.

    The president presented the budget on 26 February, two days after the Institute of Medicine released a report, called America’s Uninsured Crisis: Consequences for Health and Health Care (available at The report says that nearly 46 million Americans lack health insurance, including one in five adults aged under 65 years and one in 10 children, and that numbers would increase as the economy worsened. It says, “For decades the health insurance crisis has grown without any decisive action by policy makers to stop it. Now is the time for action.”

    More than half of Americans said that their households have cut back on health care in the past year because of costs, a …

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