Healthcare Thought Leaders React to Obama's News Conference

Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media , July 23, 2009

Julius Hobson
Senior policy advisor
Bryan Cave LLP

"It is surprising that the President has been widely criticized for setting deadlines to push Congress for action. Anyone who knows anything about Congress knows that if you want it to move, you have to set deadlines to force action. Congress is not a proactive institution, so pressing it certainly enhances the ultimate enactment of some kind of healthcare reform by the end of the year.

"The President will have to work out compromises within the majority on the Hill to move his healthcare legislation along.

"Another dilemma that the President and the majority face is if legislation does not get through the floor of the House and Senate, you have to consider whether you put out something that hangs out there during the August recess. When Sonia Sotomayor was first nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court, she had approval ratings near 70%. By the time her confirmation hearing started, her approval rating was at 48%. So if you hang out there for a long time, you can take a lot of hits."

Marty Trussell
Senior vice president
First Horizon Msaver

"From watching the press conference last night, I was struck with the vast differences in the way President Obama described his healthcare reform vision and what has come out of Congress so far. I kept saying to myself: 'This sounds good, but it does not square with what Congress has proposed so far.'"

Les Masterson is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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