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Obama's health plan, ambitious in any economy, is tougher in this one

New York Times, March 2, 2009

President Obama's goal of remaking the healthcare system was always going to be difficult to reach, but the ailing economy has complicated his task. Obama is proposing a major expansion of the federal commitment to healthcare even though the government can barely afford the health insurance programs it has. The financial condition of Medicare is deteriorating because of the recession, and the Medicare trust fund could be depleted several years sooner than expected. But Obama hopes to turn the economic crisis to his advantage by citing the burden of health costs and the growing ranks of the uninsured, now at 46 million people, to justify a shake-up.