Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), who famously tussled with the health insurance lobby more than a decade ago in an ill-fated attempt to transform healthcare, will lead a committee-level work group focusing on the role private payers could play in reform efforts this time around. The group is one of three created by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who has taken the lead on healthcare reform under the incoming Obama administration.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), respectively, have been tapped to lead efforts focused on prevention and public health, as well as quality improvement. All three working groups fall under the domain of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which Kennedy chairs.
"Our committee is fortunate to have the services of major leaders who are committed to improving healthcare for the American people," Kennedy said.
The ailing senator from Massachusetts is playing health reform quarterback under President-elect Barack Obama. Earlier this month, Kennedy outlined a blueprint for possible legislation, reaching out to a diverse group of healthcare advocates, business leaders and union groups to help gain traction for a bill. -- by Matthew DoBias