Obama Healthcare Reform

President-Elect Obama is working on coordinating a massive economic stimulus bill to be introduced in January 2009.  Last week I had the chance to meet with several lawyers from Washington that are instrumental in working with members of the House and Senate regarding healthcare reform.  Our conversation was enlightening and reaffirmed much of what we have written to our clients. The most interesting aspect of our discussion is the growing belief that deficits don’t matter — at least over the short-run.  Senator Obama has discussed this openly when talking about infrastructure spending and has also referred to healthcare spending.  A move to a universal healthcare system, creation of a healthcare oversight board and a broad information technology mandate all will cost a great amount of money.   One gets the sense that the Obama Administration is quite willing to throw massive amounts of money at a problem and not worry about future budgetary consequences. That is not necessarily bad for healthcare service companies, and in fact could result in a lower than expected reduction in reimbursement rates in 2010. Medicare reform legislation typically is done as stand-along legislation.   As such each Medicare bill must stand on its own with regard to …