What's at Issue: Making Coverage Affordable for Every American

eAlert f83aaee3-a1dd-45ae-8cb9-7b3c2e9f1af9

<p>The White House's "Health Care Summit" on February 25 identified many areas of common cause between President Obama and members of Congress. They agreed broadly on the goals for reform and on many specifics, but a fundamental divide remains over how to make coverage affordable for every American and find a way to pay for it.</p>
<p>In a <a href="/blog/2010/whats-issue-making-coverage-affordable-every-american">new blog post</a>, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis says that the President's proposed approach, as well as the comprehensive reform proposals passed by the House of Representatives and Senate, would provide affordable coverage for those who are uninsured and ensure that premiums and medical bills do not exceed an affordable share of income for those with coverage. By contrast, Republican leaders offer several small steps that would assist certain groups—including tax credits for small businesses, tax incentives for health savings accounts, and state high-risk pools—but fail to make a substantial change in the numbers of uninsured and those experiencing difficulties paying premiums and medical bills.</p>
<p>"Given the lack of bipartisan consensus and opposition engendered in part by those who resist the changes proposed, it might be tempting to put off health reform to another day," Davis says. "But the need for action is compelling. First, things will get worse if we don't act—we already have a health system under serious strain and the status quo is simply unsustainable. Second, health reform is vital to our long-term economic recovery and growth. Third, health reform is good for all of us—every one of us is currently at risk of losing our health insurance and/or sacrificing our savings to medical expenses."</p>