Principles Focus on Meaningful, Affordable Healthcare for all Americans
COLUMBIA, SC – September 26, 2008 – The American Heart Association has unveiled six principles on healthcare reform as the presidential candidates begin a series of debates. With a vision of a stronger healthcare system, the association’s 2008 Statement of Principles on Health Care Reform outlines critical issues that must be addressed to ensure high-quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.
The following principles are included in the association’s statement:
· All residents of the United States should have meaningful, affordable healthcare coverage;
· Preventive benefits should be an essential component of meaningful healthcare coverage;
· All residents of the United States should receive affordable, high-quality healthcare;
· Race, gender and geographic disparities in healthcare must be eliminated;
· Support of biomedical and health services research should be a national priority;
· The United States healthcare workforce should continue to grow and diversify through a sustained and substantial national commitment to medical education and clinical training.
The complete statement will be published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association within the next week.
Some 80 million Americans suffer from cardiovascular diseases, and lack of health insurance and quality of care pose tremendous problems for many of these people. To learn more about the American Heart Association’s efforts to reform our nation’s health care system, see our six principles of healthcare reform below and visit www.heartsforhealthcare.org.
About the American Heart Association
Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association today is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. These diseases, America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and all other cardiovascular diseases claim nearly 870,000 lives a year. In fiscal year 2006–07 the association invested more than $554 million in research, professional and public education, advocacy and community service programs to help all Americans live longer, healthier lives.
To learn more, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit www.americanheart.org.
American Heart Association’s 2008 Principles on Healthcare Reform
Fundamental Principles for Presidential Candidates and Elected Officials
1. All residents of the United States should have meaningful, affordable health care coverage.
Every individual should have affordable health care coverage that provides access to appropriate health care services and guarantees protection from extraordinary or catastrophic medical costs. Such coverage must guarantee equitable and sustained medical care for individuals with chronic disease.
2. Preventive benefits should be an essential component of meaningful health care coverage, and incentives should be built into the health care system to promote appropriate preventive health strategies.
All public and private sector health insurance benefits’ packages should provide for the identification, monitoring and treatment of risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke in patients of all ages.
3. All residents of the United States should receive affordable, high quality health care.
Health care reform should promote improvements and the evaluation of the quality of care delivered, including adherence to clinical practice guidelines and education efforts to help consumers evaluate health care quality.
4. Race, gender and geographic disparities in health care must be eliminated.
Health care reform proposals should, at a minimum, encourage monitoring, reporting and evaluation of data regarding the consistency and equity of health care delivery. Standardized, evidence-based quality measures should be used for this purpose.
5. Support of biomedical and health services research should be a national priority, and inflation-adjusted funding for the National Institutes of Health must be maintained and expanded.
Health care reform initiatives should support increased investments in biomedical research to accelerate the identification of causes and the cures for disease, especially cardiovascular disease and stroke.
6. The United States’ health care workforce should continue to grow and diversify through a sustained and substantial national commitment to medical education and clinical training.
Any health care reform proposal should provide sufficient public health funding, medical education funding and clinical training resources for programs that improve chronic disease management, care coordination and patient-centered care.