Reed Tuckson, executive vice president and chief of medical affairs at UnitedHealth Group, in a fiery speech in Denver railed against past attempts at health reform as incomplete and misguided, saying that stronger leadership in both Washington and at the community level is needed.
The new president of the United States, the first day he walks into that job, (needs to) convene not just HHS, but convene the Department of Agriculture, the person who runs the Department of Education, Labor, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, to address the issues of wellness and prevention in healthcare, said Tuckson, a physician who was named to Modern Healthcares 2008 Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare.
We need leadership to pass more money for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Tuckson said. It is now a budget that is just a rounding error on the back of other budgets at HHS.
While stressing federal leadership, Tuckson also called for a larger role to be played by community and civic groups, including churches. Tuckson spoke as part of a 17-member panel geared toward sharing solutions for health reform. The event took place as part of a host of healthcare events scheduled as part of the Democratic National Convention. (See the video. Click here for more convention coverage.) -- by Matthew DoBias