The Catholic Health Association unveiled its draft healthcare-reform principles, which endorse universal coverage and call for financing to be fairly and equitably spread across society, including progressive taxes to cover public programs. The proposals, which will be finalized late this year, were released today at the St. Louis-based trade groups annual assembly in Chicago.
The principles outline a basic benefit package that includes preventive-, primary- and acute-care coverage, and long-term and end-of-life benefits, but that is not unjustly financed by any selected element including employers, providers and individuals. The draft also calls for standardized health information technology and expanded evidence-based medicine to improve safety and efficiency.
Sister Carol Keehan, the CHA president and chief executive officer, said in a written statement that the principles outline Catholic priorities for healthcare reform as national interest for expanding access grows. In a separately released poll, sponsored by the CHA, 66% of respondents believe the number of uninsured Americans will increase in the next year. The May telephone survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, polled 800 likely voters.
About half of the respondents said that taxpayers ultimately cover the cost of care for the uninsured; 24% said that higher premiums among the insured pay for such care. Seventy-one percent said that the federal government should cover costs of uninsured children and half said that they would pay higher taxes to cover uninsured children. -- by Melanie Evans