Rove Says No to “Extreme” Changes in Health Care


Think Progress notes today that the Wall Street Journal features an oped by Karl Rove in which, while praising many of Obama’s new cabinet members, also believes that Melody Barnes, President Obama’s new Domestic Policy Head, a woman who has helped inform Obama’s health care proposals, may lead him astray.

Barnes, as RH Reality Check has written, is a pick that professional reproductive health advocates are pleased with. Barnes has a background working on HIV/AIDS issues, connecting the issues with economic realities as well:

"Barack sees an urban agenda that tries to help people
with [the] disease have access to health care," Barnes said. "He
recognizes a larger hole in that strong families make up strong
communities, and if you are sick and struggling, you are not going to
have a strong family."

Barnes said Obama has also been vocal about HIV testing and about
challenging the African-American community to address the HIV epidemic.

"This is a matter of life and death," Barnes said.

But Rove sees this as "extreme":

The only troubling personnel note was Melody Barnes as Domestic Policy Council director. Putting a former aide to Ted Kennedy in charge of health policy after tapping universal health-care advocate Tom Daschle to be Health and Human Services secretary sends a clear signal that Mr. Obama didn’t mean it when his campaign ads said he wouldn’t run to the “extremes” with government-run health care.

Fortunately, President Elect Obama doesn’t agree and, as Think Progress writes, he is putting a health care team together starting with Tom Daschle, who understand the critical urgency to make changes in the U.S. health care system. 

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