Top 10 Health Policy Stories of 2005

eAlert 7d54701d-be6a-405e-89f4-84427b6d565d

<p><strong>For Immediate Release</strong><br />For more information, contact:<br />Mary Mahon, Public Information Officer<br />TEL: 212-606-3853, cell phone: 917-225-2314<br /><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br><br>The growing number of the uninsured, the public health impact of Hurricane Katrina, and the start of registration for the new Medicare drug benefit were among the <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=20043&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2FGeneral%2FGeneral%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D329686%26%23doc329686">top health policy stories</a> of 2005, according to respondents to an informal online survey conducted by The Commonwealth Fund and the journal <em>Health Affairs.</em><br><br>Other top stories included the mounting evidence that the U.S. health care system doesn't deliver the value it should for the costs it incurs, and the continuing increase in health care costs, albeit at a somewhat slowing rate.<br><bR>The Commonwealth Fund/<a href="">Health Affairs</a> survey listed 15 policy stories, compiled by Fund staff and journal editors, and asked Web site visitors to select the five they considered the most important. Top vote-getters among the 1,100 respondents were:<Br><br><ul><li>The number of uninsured continues to grow, hitting nearly 46 million, with another 16 million reported to be "underinsured."</li><br><br><li>Hurricane Katrina draws dramatic attention to holes in the nation's health care safety net.</li><br><Br><li>Registration begins for the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, despite widely reported confusion among seniors over the myriad choices for coverage.</li><br><br><li>New cross-national studies add to evidence that U.S. health care system, the most expensive in the world, doesn't perform as well as that of several other industrialized nations on various clinical indicators and in reported patient experiences.</li><br><br><li>Health care costs continue to increase, putting increased pressure on consumers, particularly the growing number citing trouble paying off medical debt.</li></ul><br><br>For the rest of the Top 10 policy stories selected by survey respondents, visit our <a>Web site.</a></p>