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Health Care Reform

Health Care Reform Review It

A Change is in the Air

Posted on 06/09/09 at 11:10PM

Regardless of political affiliations, income levels or religious beliefs, most American’s across the nation agree on one thing — Something must be done about the skyrocketing costs of health care. With health insurance premiums growing four times faster than wages, bankruptcy is getting the better of many citizens. Given the current financial reality of our economy, some in Washington argue that we should defer health care reform – again. On the other hand, many realize that the same costs that are straining family budgets are also putting companies of all sizes out of business and depleting government budgets, prompting a call to arms for the immediate reform of health care in our country.

The challenge to make meaningful enhancements in health care will depend on radically reforming the structure of the general delivery system. Current conditions should not promote continued non-reaction to the issue. Instead, they should emphasize the need for strategies that both address existing weaknesses in quality and efficiency and further the positive improvements that have already been made in health and medical innovation.

The idea of health care reform is often presented as two extremes: Government-administered health care with higher taxes or insurance company operated health care without rules. Believing that both extremes are wrong, President Obama wisely opened the White House East Room to numerous, diverse leaders with often conflicting views for a blunt discussion on how to achieve the goals of lowering health care costs and expanding coverage. The March 5th conversion of senators, state representatives, major associations, doctors, nurses and health care administrators, encouraged the sharing of candid opinions, resulting in beneficial dialogue and a commitment to work together in order to pass an effective health reform plan. As Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform, recounted in a March 30th blog post, “Consensus is rarely easy to find on an issue that touches our lives so intimately and our economy so profoundly. But in nearly two decades of working on health care issues, I have never seen a discussion as open and productive as the one the President led.”

It seems the dark cloud that has been shadowing U.S. health care for decades is developing a silver lining. In the Administration’s report on the White House Forum on Health Reform, released March 30, 2009, President Obama states, “In this effort, every voice must be heard. Every idea must be considered. Every option must be on the table. There will be no sacred cows in this discussion. Each of us must accept that none of us will get everything we want, and no proposal for reform will be perfect. But when it comes to addressing our health care challenge, we can no longer let the perfect be the enemy of the essential.”

As active consumers, providers and payors, we all play a part in the overhaul of our current health system. Let your voices be heard. Visit www.healthreform.gov to learn more about health reform and how you can lend your support. Join the discussion by sharing your stories and ideas, read the White House Forum on Health Reform report and discover all the latest health reform happenings.

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