Posts Tagged ‘insurance’

Medicare, Medicaid Head Rallies Insurance Companies

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Controversial CMS chief wants insurers to work with healthcare providers to make reform work.CMS administrator Donald Berwick has asked the insurance industry to work in good faith to implement healthcare reform in a timely manner. Dr. Berwick made his plea at a Medicare conference sponsored by America’s Health Insurance Plans, the health insurance industry’s trade group.

“We need your help, our nation needs your help,” Dr. Berwick said, noting that companies, CEOs, healthcare professionals and managers all play a role in achieving the objective, yet the insurance industry “can be among the keys of our success, the central part in navigating the success of healthcare reform.  We have a job to do, we need to make care better for America.”  Berwick told the audience that he plans to work with others at CMS to build relationships and partnerships to assure that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act works as intended.  “If we steadily work together to make care what it can become, trust will resurface and the rest will follow,’ he said.

Dr. Berwick, who President Barack Obama named to his post in a recess appointment that bypassed the Senate confirmation process, is not well liked by Republicans because he once wrote an article that praised Britain’s National Health Service, raising concern that he will introduce healthcare rationing.  He tried to allay those fears by saying “I urge lower costs without harming a hair on any patient’s head.  It’s a clear, stark reality.  Our healthcare system, in its current form, is not up to that job.  We cannot, with our current system of care, give Americans the care that they need and want and deserve.”

The most pressing issue is improving patient safety and cutting deaths that result from unnecessary medical errors, a specialty that Dr. Berwick developed when he headed the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.  He also called for improved prevention and treatment of diseases like obesity and depression.

House Proposes $1.5 Trillion Healthcare Reform Package

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

The House of Representatives has proposed a $1.5 trillion package that would make healthcare coverage a right and a responsibility for all citizens.  If passed, medical providers, employers and the wealthy would pick up the tab.  The United States is the only developed nation that lacks healthcare coverage for all citizens, and approximately 50 Health Care Reformmillion people do not have access to insurance.

“We cannot allow this issue to be delayed.  We cannot put it off again,” says Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee.  “We quite frankly cannot go home for a recess unless the House and the Senate both pass bills to reform and restructure our healthcare system.”

President Obama is promoting healthcare reform every chance he gets.  In a Michigan speech about spending for community colleges, he said, “There’s going to be a major debate over the next three weeks.  And don’t be fooled by folks trying to scare you saying we can’t change the healthcare system.  We have no choice but to change the healthcare system because right now it’s broken for many Americans.”

Organizing for America – Obama’s campaign organization – is launching a series of 30-second television ads on healthcare reform that will air in Washington D.C., on cable networks nationally and on local stations in eight states.  The ads depict ordinary citizens telling their stories about problems with the current healthcare system.