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Forum Highlights Role of Private Sector in Achieving Universal Health Coverage in Europe
Date:10/31/2007

Swiss and Dutch Insurers Outline Features of their Countries' Models at Event Sponsored by AHIP and Kaiser Permanente

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Switzerland and The Netherlands are among countries in Europe that have universal health coverage through systems in which the private sector plays a central role in making care better and more affordable. There are a variety of approaches that countries have taken to cover all of their citizens, a fact that argues for a careful analysis of what is working and what is not as the U.S. approaches the 2008 elections and debates the merits of proposals to cover 47 million uninsured individuals here in our own country.

That was the message of a forum held today at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., featuring executives from private insurance companies in Switzerland and The Netherlands, and sponsored by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and Kaiser Permanente.

"Our community is committed to working to achieve coverage for all Americans," said AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni, in opening remarks at the event.

AHIP and Kaiser Permanente held the forum, Ignagni said, not to endorse a particular system or model. She noted that "there is confusion in our public debate between the idea of 'universal coverage' and the term 'government run.'"

Ignagni also reaffirmed AHIP's long-term commitment to finding solutions to the access problem, raising the visibility of the issue, and promoting an elevated public policy discussion about how to improve access, quality, and affordability in health care.

The foundation of this effort is a proposal released by AHIP immediately following the mid-term elections in 2006 that would expand access to health insurance coverage to every American. The plan would expand eligibility for public programs, enable all consumers to purchase insurance with pre-tax dollars, and provide financial assistance to help working fami
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SOURCE America's Health Insurance Plans
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