Health Reform: A Primer for the Election Season

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<p>With the 2008 presidential election dominating headlines, health policy reform--and the candidates' health plans--are also making news. A new Commonwealth Fund supplement running in the March/April issue of The <em>Columbia Journalism Review</em> outlines the problems plaguing our health system, as well as policy options to address them.<br><br>The supplement, <em><a href="/publications/other/2008/mar/health-policy-reform--beyond-the-2008-elections
">Health Policy Reform: The 2008 Elections and Beyond</a>,</em> draws on the work of The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System and other research as it addresses 10 key questions facing the nation:<br><br>1. How well does the U.S. health system perform compared with other nations?<br>2. How does the U.S. compare with other countries on spending for health care?<br>3. To what extent does health system performance vary across the U.S.?<br>4. Why does the U.S. health system fail to promote high performance?<br>5. What effects are the system's failures having on Americans?<br>6. How can health system performance be improved?<br>7. What health reform proposals are the presidential candidates advancing?<br>8. What are the public's views on health reform?<br>9. What are the views of health care leaders on health reform?<br>10. How can health reform help reduce national health spending?<br><br>As explained in the supplement, health reform will be an urgent domestic issue for whomever wins the election. The good news is that policymakers can make informed health policy decisions based on options grounded in research and evidence-based analysis.</p>