In a letter to the Los Angeles Times, Alan Weil, director of the Urban Institute's Assessing the New Federalism project, takes issue with HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson's response to the recent Institute of Medicine report calling for health insurance coverage for all Americans by 2010.
Re "Report Urges U.S. to Work On Better Health Coverage," Jan. 15: I was disappointed to see Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson's response to the recent Institute of Medicine report calling for health insurance coverage for all Americans by 2010. As quoted, his response was: "It's not realistic. I don't think, administratively or legislatively, it's feasible." Yet the goal of universal coverage by 2010 is included in Thompson's own department's Healthy People 2010 objectives.
The Institute of Medicine, chartered by Congress to advise the nation, was certainly correct when it stated in its report that federal leadership is needed to reach this critical goal. With more than 40 million Americans lacking health insurance coverage, that leadership is needed now more than ever.
Director, Assessing the New Federalism