Group of doctors, workers and insurers back Obama health reform
President-elect Barack Obama’s healthcare reform bid got an endorsement Thursday from six groups representing a range of interests from doctors, insurers and drug makers to workers, patients and consumers.
The group unveiled an ad backing healthcare reform and announced a multimillion dollar purchase of national television air time.
The announcement came as Obama’s choice for health secretary, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, was making his pitch for confirmation before a Senate committee.
Daschle promised to work with Congress, industry groups and ordinary citizens to build support for reform.
His approach promised to differ sharply from the one taken by former first lady Hillary Clinton in 1994, which she led the Clinton administration’s failed healthcare reform effort.
President Bill Clinton’s reform plan fell apart in part because of resistance from the health insurance industry.
But the ad blitz announced Thursday was backed by health insurance plans as well as other organziations.
The ad promotes healthcare reform as a way way of improving the quality and saving money.
“Fixing the economy requires that we fix the broken healthcare system,” John Seffrin, head of the American Cancer Society, said in unveiling the ad.
“Healing our healthcare system is a key component to jumpstarting our national economy,” added Nancy Nielsen, president of the American Medical Association.
The other groups sponsoring the ad were Families USA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Regence BlueCross BlueShield and the Service Employees International Union.
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Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Daschle at Senate confirmation hearing Thursday)