The first 100 days of the Obama administration will be and have been consumed with the economy and the budget; the second 100 days will feature, among other things, a significant and detailed negotiation with Congress on health care reform. To start the process, the White House has two major options. Either they could push for a significant expansion of government-run programs, or they could ask Congress to use money from the health care reserve fund to pay for the premiums of Americans who don't currently have insurance. The former would represent a departure from the employer-based system; the latter, which would include significant new restrictions on the insurance industry, would preserve, for the time being, the system's status quo. Politically, the target is moderate Democrats and independents. Legislatively, the goal is to get insurance companies and business lobbies on board, early.
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