Would Daschle's Federal Health Board Help?

by Lesley Politi on December 2, 2008

Would Daschle’s Federal Health Board Help?

In his book Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis, former Sen. Tom Daschle, who is expected to become secretary of Health and Human Services, proposed creation of a Federal Health Board. The Federal Reserve-style institution would make many decisions about public health care programs that now must be legislated.

What do you see as the pluses and minuses of a Federal Health Board? How would it affect the private health care system? Would it mesh with leading Democratic proposals? And, instead of creating such a board, would it be better to give HHS more power over health care?

Here [PDF] is how Daschle described his proposal in a March interview with the Kaiser Family Foundation:

“They would start by creating a framework within which decisions involving best practices could be decided. Decisions involving greater emphasis on prevention could be considered. Decisions involving whether or not we could set up a — say a federal health court to deal with malpractice issues in the future — that kind of decision making, putting greater emphasis on management of the chronic care problems that we have in this country today but all of those decisions today are largely relegated to Congress. Congress sets some decision making with regard to many of these things at least on the public side and the bottom line is most of them never get made or get made well after the fact. Congress is just not capable of being the manager of a health care system and yet it’s largely Congress today that has that responsibility. It hasn’t worked for the last 50 years. It’ll work even less in the next 50.”

– Marilyn Werber Serafini,

Source: NationalJournal.com

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