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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Expanding Health Insurance Coverage (Part 2)

Click to listen to the taped broadcast.

I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

More than 5.6 million Texans are without health insurance. That amounts to 24.5 percent of the state’s population. The problem of the uninsured is bigger than business. It is bigger than government. Solving this problem will require stakeholders from all segments of our society to join together, set aside their special interests, and go to work on developing and implementing a comprehensive solution.

The public and private sectors must collaborate to develop and implement a national health care policy that will serve as a framework as we move forward.

It is imperative that legislators provide adequate funding for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and other indigent-care programs.

More than 144 million Americans are covered by employer-based plans. Government policy should encourage employer-based health insurance plans by giving employers incentives to offer coverage for employees.

To complement these programs, we should encourage the development and expansion of affordable health insurance plans for individuals and small businesses.

Education will be a key component of any successful health care initiative. We must educate people about how to make healthy choices and encourage adoption of healthier life-habits. We must expand access to primary and preventive care and inform the uninsured about options for accessing care.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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