Tommy Thompson
Former Governor of Wisconsin; Former Secretary, Health and Human Services
02:09

Tommy Thompson on Partisan Politics and Health Care

To embed this video, copy this code:

Tommy Thompson sees bipartisan cooperation on information technology and chronic disease starting in January 2009.

Tommy Thompson

From 1987 to 2001, Tommy Thompson served as the 42nd Governor of Wisconsin, having been elected to an unprecedented four terms. Thompson's initiatives during his 13 years as governor of Wisconsin included his Wisconsin Works welfare reform program and school choice program, which allowed low-income Milwaukee families to send children to the private or public school of their choice at taxpayer expense. He also created the BadgerCare program, designed to provide health coverage to those families whose employers don't provide health insurance but make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. Through the federal waiver program, Thompson helped replicate this program in several states when he was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services by President George W. H. Bush in 2001, a position he would hold for four years. Thompson began his career in public service in 1966 as a representative in Wisconsin's state Assembly. He was elected assistant Assembly minority leader in 1973 and Assembly minority leader in 1981. Thompson has received numerous awards for his public service, including the Anti-Defamation League's Distinguished Public Service Award. In 1997, he received Governing Magazine's Public Official of the Year Award, and the Horatio Alger Award in 1998. Thompson has also served as chairman of the National Governors' Association, the Education Commission of the States and the Midwestern Governors' Conference. Thompson also served in the Wisconsin National Guard and the Army Reserve. Currently, he is an independent senior advisor of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and a partner at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
Transcript

Topic: Tommy Thompson on Health Care and Partisan Politics

Tommy Thompson: You’ll look at this past election in November, both candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain had this as central part of their healthcare plans, wellness and prevention and trying to do something about chronic illness. So, I’m really, I’m really optimistic that on wellness and prevention there’s bipartisan support, and I think that is absolutely excellent. And that’s why I think next year, 2009, starting in January, a couple of [months] from now, we’re going to see tremendous action and around this particular subject, and I’m very happy about that because Republicans and Democrats both recognize. This is the cornerstone for transforming healthcare in America and making it a more affordable and accessible. The second big area that there’s really bipartisan agreement on is Information Technology, and under that platform, I put under that [rubic] electronic medical record and e-prescribing. And both political parties, Democrats and Republicans support that as well. I mean, they’re going to be, they’re going to have different versions, but the subject, the subject matter both political parties recognize the importance of doing something about a disease system and change it to a wellness system, most individuals that are elected recognized chronic illnesses are going to be dealt with and they can be dealt with in a bipartisan basis, the same way with Information Technology. So, I think we’re well down the field towards a healthcare transformation touchdown if we keep our eye on the ball and take it up next year. If we do nothing else but fix wellness and prevention and disease management and chronic illnesses and IT, I will be happy because that’s, those are huge items and we can have bipartisan support on all of those.

Recorded On: 10/30/08


×