:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Wednesday, January 14, 2004  

What part of "universal" do you not understand?

From a landmark report released today: "Lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States. Although America leads the world in spending on health care, it is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all citizens have coverage. To help policy-makers, elected officials, and others judge and compare proposals to extend coverage to the nation's 43 million uninsured, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies offers a set of guiding principles and a checklist in a new report, Insuring America's Health: Principles and Recommendations. The report is the culmination of a series that offers the most comprehensive examination to date of the consequences of lack of health insurance on individuals, their families, communities and the whole society."

The committee proposes a clear and compelling overall recommendation — by 2010 everyone in the United States should have health insurance -- and urges the president and Congress to act immediately by establishing a firm and explicit plan to reach this goal...

In Insuring America’s Health: Principles and Recommendations, the committee offers a set of guiding principles, based on the evidence reviewed in the Committee's previous five reports and on new analyses of past and present federal, state, and local efforts to reduce uninsurance:

Health care coverage should be universal.
Health care coverage should be continuous.
Health care coverage should be affordable to individuals and families.
The health insurance strategy should be affordable and sustainable for society.
Health insurance should enhance health and well-being by promoting access to high-quality care that is effective, efficient, safe, timely, patient-centered, and equitable.

(This is the FIRST major report to STRONGLY come out and say that health care coverage should be universal. For all those who are proposing just expanding healthcare to all children, or expanding the private market, etc -- a friend of mine has said before "What part of UNIVERSAL do you not understand?") Thoughts?

posted by Anjali Taneja | 1/14/2004 04:03:00 PM | |


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