SCHIP--Pairing Coverage Expansions with System Reform

eAlert 9684fd9d-3368-497d-b501-6a1c17ce0124

<p>Recent passage of bills in the House and Senate to extend the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) became, in part, a debate over how best to reform the health care system--a portent of the issues likely to emerge in the 2008 presidential campaign.<br><br>In a new column, <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=29621&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecommonwealthfund%2Eorg%2Faboutus%2Faboutus%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D516751%26%23doc516751">SCHIP--Pairing Coverage Expansions with System Reform</a>, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis, Ph.D., discusses the SCHIP bills and the differing views on the role of government and private markets in expanding health insurance coverage and improving quality and efficiency in the health care system.<br><br>The House and Senate SCHIP bills go a long way toward solving the uninsured problem among children, Davis says. They also include some provisions to measure and improve the quality of health care. But she argues that national leadership should do far more to address the fundamental problems of health system performance.<br><br>Congress "needs to address the 'missing agenda' of payment reform, reorganization of our health care system, and support of the infrastructure, information systems, and tools required to ensure that the U.S. health system becomes the best it can be," she says.</p>