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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Medical Associations Suggest Health Care Reform Principles

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

America is on the cusp of a major new debate – a necessary debate – about the future of our health care system.

In 1993 and 1994, our nation had such a debate about a variety of proposals for health care reform.

Political leaders in both parties agreed that the problems confronting health care then – in particular, rising costs and increasing numbers of Americans without health insurance – constituted a genuine crisis and warranted an urgent policy response. That debate ended without legislative action.

Now a group of 10 medical and business associations hope to accelerate and frame a renewed national debate about how to build a better American health care system.

They are calling on Congress to implement comprehensive health system reform that abides by 11 principles, including quality, safe innovative care; basic health services coverage for all; personal responsibility; sufficient financing; medical liability reform; timely access to health care; and management of health care costs.

We should not settle for small steps forward – not when the problems of the health care system are growing by leaps and bounds. We need systemic, rapid transformation guided by a comprehensive, non-partisan National Health Care Policy.

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

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