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March 4, 2009

Reforming US Health Care: Key Considerations for the New Administration

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Departments of Economics and Health Research and Policy, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

JAMA. 2009;301(9):963-964. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.248

The election of President Barack Obama has set in motion high expectations that he will undertake systematic reform of the US health care system in his first term. Such reform must address 3 persistent problems: the uninsured, the high and rapidly increasing cost of care, and significant lapses in quality. Having studied these problems for more than 40 years, I would like to share in this Commentary some conclusions about reforming health care in the United States. Before suggesting what should and should not be done, however, it is important to learn from the failure of the proposed health reform in 1993.