The Way Forward with Health Reform

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In his State of the Union address, President Obama urged Congress to stay the course and enact comprehensive health reform. He reminded us that the problems that health reform is intended to address remain, posing a serious threat to the health of Americans and our economy. <br /><br />In a new <a href="/blog/2010/way-forward-health-reform">blog post</a>, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis says that misleading claims about the impact of health reform, and lack of understanding of its potential to improve patients' experiences, have undermined public support. What have been obscured are the many aspects of the proposed health reform legislation that would make health care accessible to all Americans and begin to transform the delivery system to improve the quality and coordination of care. <br /><br />Davis notes that proposed health reforms would increase patients' choice and improve access to care. In the absence of reform, many Americans stand to lose their health coverage or face higher premiums and medical bills as benefits erode. Reforms also would avoid any new broad taxes and instead seek to pay for better insurance by slowing spending growth—and would reduce the deficit as well as costs for businesses and families. <br /><br />"The health reform legislation is about addressing the problems we all face," Davis says. "We cannot let the opportunity to improve our lives and our livelihoods slip by." <br />