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Hospice Community Encouraged to Respond to Daschle Request to Participate in Information Gathering about Healthcare Concerns

NHPCO and NHF support call for Americans to "Tell Their Stories"

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President-Elect Obama has indicated that healthcare reform will be a top priority in his administration. Senator Tom Daschle, who has accepted Obama's offer to serve as health and human services secretary, is the leader of the Transition's Health Policy Team. Daschle is asking Americans to help with reform efforts by sharing their healthcare experiences and concerns. Recommendations that the transition team will provide to the new administration will include some of the information provided by the American public.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the National Hospice Foundation are encouraging all hospice supporters to participate in this process to help the administration better understand what is important regarding end-of-life care in this country.

"The need for people to tell their stories is one that we've longed championed as part of our grassroots advocacy work in the hospice community," said J. Donald Schumacher, president/CEO of NHPCO and NFH. "There is no better way to understand the healthcare needs of our nation than by hearing the stories from concerned citizens."

While details of Obama's healthcare proposals will not be known for some time, Daschle has initiated the information gathering process. The strategy begins with an invitation for people across the nation to hold what are being thought of as "house parties" from December 15 to 31, 2008, with the intention of sharing concerns and experiences. Information gathered from these informal gatherings may then be posted on the Web site,

NHPCO and NHF are asking hospice and palliative care providers and end-of-life coalitions to host a healthcare discussion in homes or communities from December 15 to 31. Those interested may sign up at the Web site at

NHPCO's Caring Connections and the National Hospice Foundation will be hosting a discussion for staff, their families and organization supporters at their offices in Alexandria later this month.

By collection feedback from all concerned individuals, Daschle is addressing one of the major criticisms from the Clinton administration's attempt 15 years ago to craft a plan for universal healthcare coverage.

Additional information about the Obama-Biden Transition's approach to health policy is available at

    Jon Radulovic
    Vice President, Communications


SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
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