Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Federal HEALTH CARE REFORM POLICY OPTIONS

FV Indiana knows that many of our members will be interested in national health care reform. Please see the following and its opportunity to provide your input. Families raising children with special health care need and disabilities have tremendous first hand knowledge that can support effective change. Please share your input.
FINANCE LEADERS RELEASE HEALTH CARE REFORM POLICY OPTIONS
Baucus, Grassley will discuss potential options to reduce costs, improve patient care at Wednesday Finance Members meeting
Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today released policy options for reducing costs and improving quality in the health care delivery system ahead of a Wednesday Finance Members meeting to consider the options. At that meeting, Baucus and Grassley will “walk through” the potential policy options and solicit feedback from Members that will inform the creation of the subsequent proposals the Committee will consider for a comprehensive proposal. The Finance Leaders said the draft being released today will be the first of three sets of potential option papers, each covering a different topic area that members will discuss before a bipartisan Chairman’s Mark on comprehensive health care reform is developed. Each paper is intended to offer potential options for discussion and to provide an opportunity for other options to be offered and discussed.
“Everyone agrees that America’s health care system is broken,” said Baucus. “Over the past year, I’ve been talking to members of the health care community and listening to innovative ideas about how to improve quality in the way health care is delivered to patients. The policy options Senator Grassley and I are releasing today put some meat on the bones of those ideas to strengthen our discussion moving forward. But nothing is set in stone. I look forward to a robust dialogue with my colleagues on these ideas in the coming months, as we work together to build the comprehensive health reform this country needs.”
“We have escalating costs, inefficient delivery systems, and 47 million people who lack health coverage at some point during the year,” Grassley said. “We need to make significant improvements to our health care delivery system. And we need to do it a fiscally responsible way. Over the last year, the Finance Committee has held a series of hearings on health care reform and a two-day summit. We’ve heard many witnesses tell us what’s wrong with the system and how they believe health care delivery could be improved. Some health care providers deliver higher quality care at a lower cost. The options for delivery reform are meant to take the best ideas from people who are doing things well and apply them everywhere we can.”
The policy options released today focus on making the health care delivery system more effective, higher quality, and efficient. The options would create incentives for health care providers to focus on high quality care and to closely coordinate with a patient’s other doctors and providers. They would invest in the resources health care providers need to deliver care like technology and research. And they would promote quality and care management in Medicare Advantage, and reduce fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare program.
Baucus and Grassley said policy options for increasing health care coverage and financing health care reform will be released following the roundtable discussions on those topics. The Finance Leaders have said they intend to mark-up comprehensive health care reform legislation as early as June. A summary of the policy options released today follows here. All policy options can be found on the Finance Committee website at http://www.finance.senate.gov/sitepages/leg/LEG%202009/042809%20Health%20Care%20Description%20of%20Policy%20Option.pdf. Public comments should be directed to Health_Reform@finance-dem.senate.gov. The deadline for public comments on the delivery system reform policy options is May 15, 2009.

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