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Leading Patient Advocacy Organizations United on Health Care Reform Principles
Date:6/2/2009

WASHINGTON, June 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Forty-eight leading national patient organizations have called on President Obama and members of Congress to enact health care reform that guarantees effective and affordable health and long-term care coverage for all Americans.

In a statement issued today by the National Health Council (NHC), the chief executives of the patient groups specifically urged that reform legislation:

  • cover everyone
  • curb costs responsibly
  • abolish exclusions for pre-existing conditions
  • eliminate lifetime caps, and
  • ensure long-term and end-of-life care.

"The health care system can be both effective and affordable for everyone when it provides more coordinated care, improves patient outcomes that lower costs to society, and keeps pace with biomedical innovation," said NHC President Myrl Weinberg. "Access, affordability, innovation, and high quality care should be the benchmarks for health care in America."

Weinberg stressed that Congress "must take into consideration one of the leading health care cost drivers - people with chronic diseases and disabilities. They are different from average consumers who are generally in good health and sporadic users of the health care system. People diagnosed with chronic conditions interact with the health care system their entire lives." The NHC has provided specific recommendations to the Senate Finance Committee and its staff as the Committee develops its version of a health reform package.

These activities are part of the NHC's Campaign to Put Patients First. "Putting Patients First(R) means creating a modern health care system that saves lives, enhances our quality of life, and saves us all money," Weinberg explained. The NHC is also collecting signatures from patients in support of the statement's principles for health care reform.

About the National Health Council:

The National Health Council is the only organization of its kind that brings together all segments of the health care community to provide a united voice for people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. Its membership includes health-related organizations and corporations and leading patient advocacy groups.

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SOURCE National Health Council
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