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FROM THIS EPISODE

Barack Obama says America's healthcare system is a contributor to the country's economic decline. There's a growing consensus that recovery can't happen without healthcare reform. If costs are cut, can quality be maintained? How much should government be involved in setting standards as well as paying the bills? Also, despite falling prices, the home sales dropped more than expected last month, and Europe prepares to give Barack Obama a break it refused to give George Bush, accepting prisoners from Guantánamo Bay.

Health at Risk

Jacob Hacker

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Gary Scott
Karen Radziner

Main Topic Barack Obama and 'Universal' Healthcare Reform 34 MIN, 19 SEC

Barack Obama insists that healthcare reform cannot be postponed because of the economic decline, calling it a step that's required for recovery. At the same time, there's a growing consensus among doctors, hospitals, businesses and consumer groups that the time for action is now. By "universal," Obama does not mean healthcare provided and paid for by government. He wants to build on the current, employer-based system. "Universal" has come to mean guaranteed or mandatory health insurance for every American. What will it look like? What will be government's role? Asked, can we afford to do it? Obama replies with his own question, "Can we afford not to?"

Guests:
Ron Pollack, Families USA (@FamiliesUSA)
Mike Tuffin, Executive VP of Communications, America's Health Insurance Plans
Anthony Wisniewski, Executive Director of Healthcare, US Chamber of Commerce
Jacob Hacker, Yale University

Reporter's Notebook European Countries May Offer Guantanamo Possibilities 8 MIN, 24 SEC

Barack Obama has promised repeatedly to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, but won't discuss what to do with the prisoners until he becomes president on January 20, 2009. Meantime, it's reported by some European governments are doing something for him they refused to do for George Bush, discuss whether to take prisoners who can't go home from Guantánamo because they're likely to be tortured in their home countries. Charles Kupchan is a former director for European Affairs at the National Security Council staffer during the first Clinton Administration.

Guests:
Charles Kupchan, Georgetown University (@CFR_org)

Making News As Housing Crisis Worsens, More People Staying Put 5 MIN, 57 SEC

Sales of new and existing homes dropped more than expected last month, even though houses are cheaper, with the median price reduced from $208,000 last year at this time to $180,000 today. Daniel McGinn is national correspondent for Newsweek magazine and author of House Lust: America's Obsession with Our Homes.

Guests:
Daniel McGinn, National Correspondent, Newsweek

House Lust

Daniel McGinn

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