Healthcare leaders believe Congress should make expanding healthcare coverage for the uninsured a top priority over the next five years, according to a Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare poll. The issue was considered a top priority by 63% of healthcare leaders at academic or research institutions; 59% of those involved in healthcare delivery; 57% of those at government, labor or consumer advocacy groups; and 47% of those in the business or insurance sectors. Still, some poll respondents doubted the issue would get much attention this year. John Rother, AARPs policy director, who participated in the poll, said the problem wasnt lack of interest but a resistance to new spending. We have an administration thats going to resist any kind of new revenues to fix a problem as big as the uninsured, Rother said. Respondents said Congress also should address Medicare reform, expanding the State Childrens Health Insurance Program, the rising cost of healthcare, and increasing use of information technology. Some 289 people responded to the poll, which was conducted by Harris Interactive. Read more coverage of the poll. -- by Jennifer Lubell
Industry leaders: Help the uninsured
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