Compassionate and Challenging Changes in Health Care Ahead

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<p>Last night in his address to Congress and the nation, President Obama reaffirmed that comprehensive health reform is urgently needed to spark economic recovery, ensure that all Americans are able to get the care they need, and lay the foundation for slowing the growth in health care costs. </p>
<p>In a <a href="/Content/From-the-President/2009/Compassionate-and-Challenging-Changes-in-Health-Care.aspx">new column</a>, Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis outlines the strategy for achieving long-term health security and fiscal responsibility offered by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System in its report, <a href="/Content/Publications/Fund-Reports/2009/Feb/The-Path-to-a-High-Performance-US-Health-System.aspx">The Path to a High Performance U.S. Health System: A 2020 Vision and the Policies to Pave the Way</a>. She reviews how these reforms—which she describes as both compassionate and challenging—will better protect Americans' heath and personal finances. Davis also explains how health care providers, employers, taxpayers—and insurers and the health industry—would benefit in important ways. If enacted now, she writes, these early investments will pay significant dividends, with coverage, payment, and system reform savings projected to offset the increase in annual federal spending for affordable coverage expansion by 2020.</p>
<p>"With both a historic political opportunity and a clear path toward a high performance health system that works for all Americans, the time has come to take bold steps to ensure the health and economic security of this and future generations," Davis says.</p>