Obama Has Team of Rivals for Health Care

The Plank has an item on Obama’s health care team, noting that these are people who mean business about health care reform. This doesn’t mean that they all agree on the specifics. While there are benefits to be gained from information technology, I think that some people outside of health care overestimate the potential cost savings, as I’ve discussed here. There is disagreement over this even among Obama’s health care team:

Here’s one interesting storyline to watch, for those of you who care about substance: The Obama health plan includes a substantial up-front investment in better information technology. Cutler has long argued that the resulting efficiencies could save substantial sums of money in the long term. But many experts have been skeptical of this claim–not least among them, incoming Budget Director Peter Orszag.

Cutler and Orszag share the same goals; both are absolutely committed to health care reform. But they don’t agree about how to read the data. So I’m sure they’ll go a few rounds on that.

Of course, that’s precisely how an administration should make policy: By putting the best minds in the same room and letting the sparks fly.

Including advisers with diffuse views is one of Obama’s strengths. At least they will not be making policy how the Bush administration attempted to: by asking what the Bible would say about the subject.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Jerry says:

    Paraphrasing a vaguely remembered quote: “The light comes only when sparks light the fire.”

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