Obama Health Care Cure May Prove Elusive

Quick reform isn't likely, say analysts
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2008 8:09 AM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., talks with Dr. Mark Anderson while touring a cardiology research lab before speaking about his health care plan, Tuesday, May 29, 2007,...   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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(Newser) – In a campaign that has made several big promises, perhaps Barack Obama's most ambitious vow is that he will bring down health care premiums by $2,500 by the end of his first term as president. But whether he can deliver that is an open question, writes the New York Times. Even if he can muster the political will to cut down a bloated system, the savings might not materialize.

Economists agree that about a third of spending on health care is unnecessary. But the savings that Obama's team are citing have raised eyebrows, and many observers say changes will take at least a decade to reach consumers' pockets. One report says that a sweeping overhaul of health care would only save 6% after 10 years. "Doing it by the end of a first term is ambitious and would require tough policies," said one health analyst.