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State Experts Discuss Health Care Reform Efforts and Lessons at PFCD Event
Date:6/18/2009

WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) today held a Capitol Hill briefing to discuss comprehensive state health care reform efforts, why some succeeded and others failed, and why focusing on reducing the burden of chronic disease should be at the center of our national effort to reform health care.

"As Congress and the Obama Administration look to reform health care across the nation, state level reform efforts can offer important insights about navigating the politics and process while forming the policy," said Ken Thorpe, Ph.D., PFCD Executive Director, who moderated the event. "These reform efforts show that by focusing on core elements to improve the health of uninsured and insured citizens alike - such as supporting coverage as well as enhancing the primary care network, improving care coordination, and strengthening community level health resources - we can control costs and do it in a way that achieves bipartisan consensus."

Panelists discussed health reform efforts in several U.S. states, including Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina and West Virginia. In addition, Thorpe talked about the effectiveness of community health teams (CHTs), which already exist in Vermont, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and soon West Virginia and Pennsylvania, at managing and preventing chronic disease. CHTs have been included in health care proposals issued by the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

"Clearly, national reform encounters some different hurdles than state reform," said Thorpe. "However, many of these state programs adhere closely to the route proposed by President Obama and Senate leaders such as Max Baucus, which is why they will become even more important examples as we approach a turning point in the health care reform process. What they show is that fundamental national reform will require legislation designed to reduce the growth in spending, provide high-quality, efficient medical and preventive care for all Americans, and roll out community level resources and support that make it easier for Americans to lead healthy, active lives."

About the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease:

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a national and state-based coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs in the U.S.: chronic disease. For more information about the PFCD and its partner organizations, please visit: www.fightchronicdisease.org.


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SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
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