The Implementation Battle

31 Aug

I’ve referenced on a number of occasions that passing health reform was just the beginning–that implementing health reform was the bigger challenge. I’ve pointed you to articles describing the long days and nights of the Health and Human Services staff charged with writing the regulations and making health reform a reality. I’ve also addressed some of the political challenges that may occur during implementation and the public relations campaigns that are gearing up across the country. Well, I’ve got another resource for you, and it’s a good one. Paul Starr writes “The Next Health-Reform Campaign” in the August 2 edition of The American Prospect. It’s one of the best summaries of the current and future issues looming for health reform implementation. There is a strategy, and it is to stretch this victory out as long as possible–in hopes of wielding it during the 2010 and 2012 elections–but to win smaller substantive victories early and often. In other words, just saying, “We are the party that made health reform a reality for America” won’t earn many points in 2010 or 2012 without something more concrete to point to. Thus, it becomes important to have the least controversial, most popular, and most tangible benefits of health reform roll out early and often. Starr’s piece does an excellent job of outlining this gameplan–and it’s worth at least one thorough read. (Plus, it even comes in a Spanish version para mis amigos que hablan Español.)


Posted by on August 31, 2010 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “The Implementation Battle

  1. Phil Childs

    August 31, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I can't say I completely understand Starr's article, so I'll probably have to read it again when I have more time.I think there might be another step in the "life cycle" of the bill to law to regulation… and that is "enforcement". There are many laws on the books that are not enforced or selectively enforced (e.g., immigration, traffic speed limits), some for political others for practical reasons. The question is… how well will the health reform regulations be enforced. I'm interested in your view, but I suspect that they will be enforced for several reasons:1) Politics – especially while Democrats/Progressives are in power2) Active Protagonists – every state & insurance company will be watched by very vocal groups3) Smaller "population" – the number of insurance companies, states, employers is a smaller subset of the total population. So fewer organizations that need to be "watched" (as opposed to the number of illegal immigrants or fast drivers).What say you?

  2. Mary Reed Kelly

    September 1, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I enjoy reading your posts — you write well and clearly and it's obvious that you're smart as well as educated. I'm very interested in keeping up on health care — partly as part of my late father's legacy (he worked for HHS under Reagan and later for the AMA in Wash, DC) and partly to be able to defend the concept when my right-wing friends and family vilify Obama and his good intentions. So I have an RSS feed to home page, but haven't commented yet because I'm still learning. Thanks for your efforts.


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