Groups offer plan for health care
In broad strokes, several of the key groups who
have been at odds about the challenges facing
health care reform reached agreement last week
about what needs to happen.
Representatives of these groups – consumers,
insurers, doctors, employers – shared their views in
the Health Reform Dialogue, which was shared
with lawmakers and could serve as a catalyst for
much-needed national health care reform.
Admittedly, these groups avoided many of the
most volatile issues. But they did offer some
insight on others, such as:
Providing insurance coverage to the uninsured
through a mix of expanded government programs
and subsidies to purchase private health coverage.
Specifically, the plan calls for expanding the
Medicaid program to cover all adults earning up to
the poverty level, about $22,000 a year for a family
of four. Subsidies and tax credits would be offered
to help the middle class, although those were specified.
Creating savings by
making the health care
system less wasteful.
And urging prevention
become the foundation
for medical care.
And while the document
was thin on specifics
and details, specifically
in how the progams
would be funded, it does
offer a consensus and a
More important, it continues
the national dialogue
about health care,
one that we all agree is
Obama has a full plate of
challenges at the
moment, from the economy to the war on terror to
getting a handle on his role, health care and social
justice issues continue to be at the top of his agenda.
Providing adequate care to Americans, without
bankrupting our country, is a goal we can all
embrace. The challenge will lie in making that happen.