The American Hospital Associations board of trustees approved an initial, official draft of the trade groups healthcare reform agenda. Unveiled earlier this year, the document does not include any specific legislative proposals, but outlines five broad priorities: an emphasis on wellness; efficient, affordable care; the highest quality care; adoption of healthcare information technology; and universal coverage that is jointly financed by business, employees and the public sector.
In coming months, the trade group will lobby business, consumer, healthcare and insurance groups for comment on and endorsement of the evolving proposal, said Richard Umbdenstock, AHAs president and chief executive officer. Eventually, the document will put forward public policy, he said, but the association will first seek to build widespread support for the effort. Umbdenstock told attendees at the groups annual leadership summit in San Diego, We must make sure that healthcare reform becomes more than a passing political issue or an ideological struggle.
Political momentum behind overhauling U.S. healthcare does not guarantee action, Umbdenstock said in an interview. History would suggest that it is possible for the nation to take a pass, he said. We dont think thats in anybodys best interest. -- by Melanie Evans