WASHINGTON - January 4 - The New Year brings with it a fresh opportunity to tackle the most pressing economic problem facing American families and businesses today: how to make quality health care affordable for every man, woman, and child in this country.
In the coming weeks and months, SEIU, the nation's largest union of health care workers, will embark on several high-profile projects to bring business leaders, health care providers, workers, community organizations, and elected officials to the table to fix the nation's broken health care system. These efforts will build on existing work--such as SEIU's Americans for Health Care project and President Andy Stern's recent appeal to Fortune 500 CEOs to join in the fight for reform--and will also break new ground to find real, common-sense solutions to the health care crisis.
To launch this expanded effort, SEIU today released its Vision for Reform: Ten fundamental principles that will guide SEIU's work to promote health care solutions that move a new American health care system in the right direction.
The Health Care Solution: SEIU's Vision for Reform
1. It is time for our nation to guarantee affordable health care coverage for all Americans. Piecemeal reform is not a solution.
2. The current employer-based health care system is not the foundation for 21st century health care reform, particularly given the competitive challenges of a global economy.
3. A universal health care system must ensure a choice of doctors and health care plans without gaps in coverage or access, and the delivery system must meet the needs of at-risk populations.
4. A universal health care system must include a core health care benefit similar to one that is available to federal employees.
5. Preventive care must be a part of any basic benefit plan to promote health, control costs, and eliminate economic and racial disparities.
6. Any plan for health care reform must control costs by providing care that is cost efficient and medically effective.
7. Secure electronic medical records that consumers control are necessary to increase quality and reduce costs.
8. Hospital and physician quality, outcome, and cost data must be available to consumers.
9. A universal health care system must integrate long term care services, reduce out-of-pocket costs, and maximize opportunities for individuals to receive assistance in home- and community-based settings, rather than in hospitals and nursing homes.
10. Employers, individuals, and government must share responsibility for financing the system.