An unlikely partnership of business, labor and public policy groups today released four principles for achieving universal healthcare coverage by 2012.
The principles from the nine groupsincluding AT&T, Wal-Mart, the Service Employees International Union and Intel Corp.said that all Americans should have access to affordable quality care; that individuals need to be responsible for maintaining and protecting their health; that the U.S. should dramatically improve the value it receives for every healthcare dollar; and that businesses, governments and individuals should all contribute to managing and financing a new healthcare system.
Representatives from some of the organizations indicated at a news briefing in Washington that the employer-based healthcare system wasnt working anymore, but the group as a whole wouldnt endorse a specific course of action to achieve universal care. The goal is to put respective differences aside to move the healthcare debate forward, using the principles as a guide, said Lee Scott, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart, and other members of the new partnership. Read the news release. -- by Jennifer Lubell