Fixing Health Care

President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday called for "affordable, accessible health care for every single American" and at a Chicago press conference presented former Senator Tom Daschle as his choice for secretary of health and human services. Obama said the former Senate leader also will head a new White House Office of Health Reform to oversee ways to expand coverage and rein in health costs. In Washington, meanwhile, Senator Bernie Sanders discussed his long-standing interest in health care r

President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday called for "affordable, accessible health care for every single American" and at a Chicago press conference presented former Senator Tom Daschle as his choice for secretary of health and human services. Obama said the former Senate leader also will head a new White House Office of Health Reform to oversee ways to expand coverage and rein in health costs. In Washington, meanwhile, Senator Bernie Sanders discussed his long-standing interest in health care reform. "When we talk about the crises facing this country, the fact that 47 million Americans have no health insurance, more are underinsured, costs are soaring, primary health care is a disaster, that is certainly an issue that has to be addressed and addressed boldly."

"The bottom line here," Sanders continued, "is that the United States of America is the only nation in the industrialized world that does not provide health care to all people as a right of citizenship. That has got to change.

"Our system is incredibly wasteful, bureaucratic. Insurance companies and drug companies make huge sums of money and millions of people are lacking. So we need major fundamental changes in our health care system.

"Bottom line is we can provide health care to all of our people without spending any more than we're currently spending if we move toward a single-payer system, if we start paying attention to disease prevention, if we are prepared to take on the insurance companies and the drug companies."

To watch Bernie talk about health care, click here.

To watch the senator discuss primary health care at a Senate health committee hearing this week, click here.