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Commission Corner

The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System kicked off 2008 in high gear, hosting the 10th annual Bipartisan Congressional Health Policy Conference—a retreat for members of Congress to learn about and discuss pertinent issues in health policy. Attended by Democratic and Republican members of both houses, the retreat featured presentations by key leaders in a broad range of topics: high performance health systems, employer-sponsored coverage, federal and state roles in health reform, organizing the delivery system, health information technology, achieving savings and improving value, and Medicare cost growth. As in years past, members and speakers engaged in honest and productive dialogue in the spirit of bipartisan collaboration.

In coordination with the Alliance for Health Reform and Catholic Health Association, the Commission hosted a similar event for senior congressional staff at the end of February. Seventy-five high-level staffers from Congress and congressional agencies attended the retreat to learn from expert speakers; engage in open, off-the-record debate; and discover potential areas for bipartisan collaboration. The event featured topics such as employer-sponsored coverage, the future of Medicare, organizing delivery systems to improve quality, federal and state roles in insurance market reform, and containing costs while improving quality.

The Commission also released two reports to coincide with the 2008 presidential primary contests. Envisioning the Future: The 2008 Presidential Candidates' Health Reform Proposals analyzes the differences among the candidates' health reform plans and evaluates them against such key principles as affordability, provision of essential services, financial protection, streamlined administration, and fair financing. A related data brief, The Public's Views on Health Care Reform in the 2008 Presidential Election, reveals which components of the candidates' plans are supported by the American public and finds that large majorities of the public, regardless of political affiliation or income level, say that the candidates' views on health care reform will be very or somewhat important in their voting decision.

For more information, please visit the Commission page on the Fund's Web site.

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