Health care reform got you confused? We're here to help
By Dr. Robin Baker
Senior policy analyst and director of the health project
Having trouble sorting out the details in the debate over health care reform?
You're not alone. That's why we've compiled some resources we think you might find useful:
· To help explain the issues surrounding reform efforts, two news organizations have developed helpful features.
Currently, Congress is considering three separate health reform proposals and trying to resolve disagreements over creating a new government insurance plan and how to pay for universal coverage. The New York Times has an interactive on-line primer that highlights the proposals and their pros and cons. It also offers a timeline for getting reform through Congress.
An Associated Press article offers questions and answers about paying for health care. The Q & A touches on long-term costs to our economy, problems of affordability for citizens and systemwide waste.
· The Kaiser Family Foundation offers an interactive tool for comparing reform proposals. The tool presents a side-by-side comparison across several plan components. It will be updated regularly to reflect changes in the proposals and to incorporate major new proposals as they are announced.
· One of the most contentious issues Congress is considering is the proposed public option plan. Supporters argue that a public plan will lower administrative costs and provide greater bargaining power to reduce health care costs. Opponents argue that a government-run plan would crowd out private insurance and eventually lead to a universal system of government-run health care. A new brief by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation explores the pros and cons in more detail.
· The Bell Policy Center is a member of the Partnership for a Healthy Colorado. This group is a diverse coalition of labor, business, health care and advocacy organizations and is working to build community and political momentum for meaningful solutions to the health care crisis.
The Partnership represents what can be achieved when a broad and diverse group comes together and is willing to listen and share ideas -- with a goal of finding common ground.
The Partnership recently hosted a series of meetings with Colorado's congressional delegation and their staff members. The Partnership shared a sense of urgency regarding reform efforts and let the senators, representatives and staff members know that the Partnership for a Healthy Colorado can provide expertise on many facets of the health care debate.
For more information visit the Partnership website.