By Rosemary Piser
Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The time has come for comprehensive health care reform that will put the United States on a path to the delivery of high performance health care for all its citizens. According to data published by the Department of Health and Human Services, in the state of Illinois 14% are uninsured — and 64% of those uninsured are in families with at least one full-time worker.
Unfortunately, as the debate about the direction that health care reform has unfolded, there has been a great deal of half-truths and outright lies told by those who apparently feel the status quo is acceptable. In an effort to assist our readers with becoming as knowledgeable as possible about this extremely important issue, eNews Park Forest is providing some valuable resources to assist you with becoming as informed as possible.
The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.
The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy.
The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System offers recommendations for a comprehensive set of insurance payment, and system reforms that could guarantee affordable coverage for all by 2012, improve health outcomes, and slow health spending growth by $3 trillion by 2020 if enacted to start in 2010. Central to the Commission’s strategy is establishing a national insurance exchange that offers a choice of private plans and a new public plan, with reforms to make coverage affordable, ensure access and lower administrative costs. The strategy is provided in detail in the Commission’s report, The Path to a High Performance U.S. Health System: A 2020 Vision and the Policies to Pave the Way. You will find that some of the Fund’s recommendations are already included in the current House proposal. You can read the full report at:
United Steel Workers (USW)
The USW believes, as do most Americans, that our health insurance system is broken. Skyrocketing health care costs are straining family budgets, threatening American businesses’ viability, and exploding our national deficit. Even Americans with good insurance are finding that they are paying more and more out of pocket for premiums, deductibles, co-payments and they are getting less for what they pay. If we fail to act now, everyone’s health care coverage will be in jeopardy.
USW also believes that this is a critically important issue and all of us need to have a voice in the debate. Congress needs to hear from us that we need real health insurance reform that will save our economy and help all Americans
USW has provided a series of tools on its website to keep you as informed as possible about the health care debate and dispel the many myths about the current health care proposals. You can access this information at:
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
AARP’s health care website, Health Action Now provides a forum for you to relate your health care experiences directly to your Congressional representatives. It also includes information dispelling the myths surrounding the current reform proposals. Videos, news and information on AARP’s health care reform efforts are also a part of this website. Access the AARP site at:
CNN.com has added a health care section to its website. It includes various forums where you can verify the information you are hearing about the health care debate as well as links to the proposed health care reform legislation. Access this website at:
The Kaiser Foundation
A leader in health policy and communications, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S., as well as the U.S. role in global health policy. Unlike grant-making foundations, Kaiser develops and runs its own research and communications programs, sometimes in partnership with other non-profit research organizations or major media companies.
The Kaiser Foundation serve as a non-partisan source of facts, information, and analysis for policymakers, the media, the health care community, and the public. Their product is information, always provided free of charge – from the most sophisticated policy research, to basic facts and numbers, to information young people can use to improve their health or elderly people can use to understand their Medicare benefits.
The Kaiser Family Foundation is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.
The Kaiser Family Foundation offers side-by-side comparison of proposals:
Other topics on the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Web site include:
Health Reform, Medicaid/CHIP, Medicare, Costs/Insurance, State Policy, Prescription Drugs, HIV/AIDS, U.S. Global Health Policy, Minority Health, Women’s Health Policy, and Media and Health.
HealthReform.gov is a government website that provides a good overview of the current health care reform proposals, statistical information, and reports on various health care issues. It also provides a forum where you can relate your experiences with the current health care system, read about the experiences of others and provide comments to the Obama Administration, and/or your state Senators and Representatives. All sources for the statistical data provided are cited. You can access this website at:
Remember, the current House health care reform proposal is just the starting point. This House bill must now be married with the Senate’s proposed legislation when a final bill will be developed for President Obama’s signature and enactment.
Educate yourself with the REAL facts about this critical issue and provide your valuable input to your Congressional representatives. You can make a difference.