Affordable health care for all Americans

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act Of 2003 (Public Law 108-173) created the Citizens' Health Care Working Group (Sec. 1014) with a mission to, " Develop an action plan for Congress and the President to consider as they work to make health care that works for all Americans." The citizen's group announced the release of its Final Recommendations on September 25, 2006. President Bush has 45 days to comment on the recommendations and offer a report to Congress.

Also reported in a New York Times article Tuesday, the panel report's number one recommendation is that, "'It Should Be Public Policy that All Americans Have Affordable Health Care' and that all Americans have access to a set of affordable and appropriate core health care services by the year 2012." Further recommendations include:
  • Guarantee Financial Protection Against Very High Health Care Costs
  • Foster Innovative Integrated Community Health Networks
  • Define Core Benefits and Services for All Americans
  • Promote Efforts to Improve Quality of Care and Efficiency
  • Fundamentally Restructure the Way End-of-Life Services Are Financed and Provided
The working group continues with three guiding principles financing new initiatives: fairness, incentives for economic efficiency, and sufficient funds.

Citizens' Health Care Working Group, Final Recommendations
Health Care That Works For All Americans (September 2006, pdf, 39pp/356kB)
Executive Summary (September 2006, pdf, 16pp/400kB)



Blogger Eric Bryant said...

One aspect of health care that is definitely given less than adequate attention among policymakers is the field of mental health. Unfortunately, conventional insurance plans often don't cover the costs of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic care.

As a spiritual counselor and I Ching practitioner, I treat patients who cannot afford traditional psychological services and must find alternative forms of mental health care. Although I believe the field of spiritual counseling can be extremely beneficial, I do feel that the lack of heath insurance coverage for such services is disheartening.

Eric Bryant
Philosophical Practitioner
New Jersey


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