The agenda-setting committee for the Democratic National Convention released its official platform for the party convention, calling for universal healthcare coverage but stopping short of making it a mandate. We believe that covering all is not just a moral imperative, but is necessary to making our health system workable and affordable, the Platform Standing Committee wrote.
In its statement, the committee calls for more variety in private health coverage while also backing the creation of a separate public health plana measure similar to one championed by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama. In addition, the committee calls for an end to insurance discrimination and puts a focus on prevention and wellness programs.
The committee also calls on the medical establishment to more quickly adopt health information technology, primarily privacy-protected electronic medical records and calls for financial incentives to help them do so. Other provisions include: boosts to the healthcare workforce; the elimination of healthcare disparities; and coverage expansions to government programs such as Medicaid and the State Childrens Health Insurance Program.
Obama has said that he would sign a comprehensive healthcare plan into law by the end of his first term, if elected. His own proposal is in sync with the options offered by the platform committee, including an expanded role for the federal government. While there are different approaches within the Democratic Party about how best to achieve the commitment of covering every American, with everyone in and no one left out, we stand united to achieve this fundamental objective through the legislative process, the committee wrote. -- by Matthew DoBias