Groups Once at Odds Come Together to Provide Affordable Health Insurance
Recently such disparate groups as the AARP and major Drug companies like Pfizer that often found themselves at odds when it came to offering solutions to the 47 million Americans without access to affordable health insurance, came together to propose a precedent setting healthcare reform proposal to the new Congress. Also at the forefront of the proposal designed to bring health insurance to all Americans is the American Academy of Family Physicians, America's Health Insurance Plans, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Johnson & Johnson, and many other high profile players in the health insurance industry.
The plan designed to be a road map to improving access to affordable health insurance coverage to all Americans provides for using tax breaks and expansion of existing government programs to see that all children and most Americans have some form of health coverage within the next ten years. Perhaps most interesting about the proposal is not so much in its ideas or the details of same - but in who came with it. Presented by America's Health Plans, it had been worked out over the last two years by groups and companies that in the past had often feuded bitterly with one another over health insurance and healthcare reform. Included in the consortium were several leading drug and insurance companies, the American Medical Association, as well as more than a few consumer advocate groups. A senior AMA official, said of the participants they were "the major players in health care" and added, the idea is "to cover as many people as possible as quickly as possible."
Dr. Reed Tuckson with the United Health Foundation said, "these actions provide a realistic blueprint for a bipartisan and caring Congress" The two part plan at first is primarily aimed at seeing that all currently uninsured children in the county, almost 10 million, get health insurance, and then targets the 47 million adults without adequate medical coverage.
The initiators of the program realize that it falls short of so-called universal health insurance. But it is a starting point. A representative of one of the nation's largest insurance providers the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said the proposal should bring affordable medical coverage to more than half of the Americans currently without it.
Raising public awareness of current programs and who is eligible for them is also a key part of the program, which allocates a fair amount of dollars for public awareness campaigns - it is estimated that almost 75% of children that are eligible for Medicaid and other public health insurance programs are not enrolled in them simply because their parents do not realize they qualify for these health benefits.