Obama elected. Reform expected.

Americans went to the polls and cast their vote for "change" and "hope."

But how much change can we hope for? 
For our healthcare system, not too much, not too soon.
The problem? We all know the numbers: double-digit cost inflation and premium hikes; $2 trillion annual spending with questionable results; and 71 million Americans either uninsured or underinsured.
Obama's proposed solution? Three more numbers: $2,500, how much the plan is slated to save the typical family each year; $50 to $65 billion , the annual cost of the plan when fully phased in; and $100 billion, the upfront cost expected for bringing coverage to most of the uninsured.
And how about those other numbers? A 25% loss in value of the U.S. stock market; 5% inflation; and possible double-digit unemployment.
Beyond the numbers, how about words? Quality, affordability and universal coverage. I'm not sure the American people agree on what they truly mean or realize how difficult it will be to bring them into satisfactory equilibrium.
Bob Blendon from the Harvard School of Public Health offers the final word on numbers: 60 percent. That's the majority of Obama voters who expect him to do something major to improve healthcare.
Of all the factors influencing the success of healthcare reform, overinflated expectations may be the most difficult to control.
Our country voted for "change" and "hope." Let's be real. Let's look forward to even the most incremental of change and not lose hope.
— Tom DeSanto

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