Obama's Health Care Speech: Experts Sound Off

David Nash of the Jefferson School of Population Health in Philadelphia, said, "He did not call for a major Medicare overhaul, and he did not create major new federal bureaucracies to make his plan operational. Much more work needs to be done."

Alan Sager, a professor of health policy and management at Boston University, questioned health care's financial burden: "Federal payments for health care would have to be frozen for a little over a year in order to finance one-half of the projected cost of the president's new benefits," he said. "That would require a one-time saving, like taking one step backward on an up escalator. Could it be done? Could it be done in a way that was clinically safe?"

Some criticized Obama's desire to increase competition.

"My main critique is the embrace of choice and competition as a mantra," said Theodore Marmor, professor of public policy and management at Yale University. "This market economy cliche is not plausible in health care."

And one expert likened the health care reform effort to making a request of a "magic genie."

"It is like finding a magic lamp and asking the genie for a health care reform package," said Jay Wolfson, professor of public health and medicine at the University of South Florida in Tampa. "The guy rubbing the lamp knows what he wants but is going to rely on the genie to go back into the lamp and figure out how to engineer the solution.

"I am not convinced that we know more than we knew before the president's speech about the what -- and more importantly, the how," Wolfson continued. "The genie has to go back into the lamp and figure out what the heck he is going to do -- and the answer will not be for the genie to hope that there is another lamp somewhere with another genie in it who can provide the answer magically."

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