Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Digression to Help with the Transition: A Tea Party for Health Care Reform

Among the many problems facing President-elect Obama is the need to change the way in which we provide and pay for health care in America.  So, a while ago, a call went out, asking Americans to gather in groups large and small to kick around some ideas about how to do this, and give feedback to the folks currently working on plan that they want to unveil.  Kind of a Health Care Caucus.  We made ours a tea-party, and, at 3 PM today we will gather and discuss the questions posed by the incoming Administration.  My brother pointed out that it is unlikely that Mr. Obama will actually hear what we have to say, but, as I said to him back then, it is nice to be asked.  The questions, by the way, are a bit rigged;  no hints of single-payor in this mix:
1. Briefly, from your own experience, what do you perceive is the biggest problem in the health system?
2. How do you choose a doctor or hospital? What are your sources of information? How should public policy promote quality health care providers?
3. Have you or your family members ever experienced difficulty paying medical bills? What do you think policy makers can do to address this problem?
4. In addition to employer-based coverage, would you like the option to purchase a private plan through an insurance-exchange or a public plan like Medicare?
5. Do you know how much you or your employer pays for health insurance? What should an employer’s role be in a reformed health care system?
6. Below are examples of the types of preventive services Americans should receive. Have you gotten the prevention you should have? If not, how can public policy help?
7. How can public policy promote healthier lifestyles?
Still, it a start.  We will be live-blogging our event- stay tuned for further developments.  Feel free to add you own thoughts as comments to this post.

Mental health care for children isn't the only thing that we need to change around here.

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