Opinion polls show that nearly 3 out of 4 Americans support some form of universal, public sponsored healthcare. With the confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius as Health & Human Services Secretary, the President’s party approaching a supermajority in Congress and the outbreak of Swine Flu shining a light on the importance of ensuring a basic level of healthcare for all Americans, the political environment seems perfect for the passage of comprehensive healthcare reform in 2009. The effects on the medical industry would be profound.Consider the following:According to a report from the National Institute of Healthcare Management, one in six Americans in 2008 lacked health insurance. That’s more than 43 million people, greater than 15% of the US population. Already in high demand, professionals supporting medical office billing and coding will be in even greater demand if legislation reform passes bringing tens of millions of Americans into the ranks of the insured. Yet, even in the absence of insurance reform, the Obama administration has made it clear that updating the medical records system transitioning to electronic record from the current paper based system is a priority. Whether this ambitious agenda is executed completely or partially, the outlook is positive for those seeking careers in the realm of billing and coding. Stay tuned for updates on this important public policy initiative.