Citizens’ Health Care Working Group Releases Interim Recommendations

The Citizen’s Health Care Working Group–which held community meetings across the country, including one hosted by the Winter Park Health Foundation in Orlando in January–has released its Interim Recommendations on how to make health care work for all Americans.

The recommendations reflect input from more than 20,000 citizens who participated in more than 75 community meetings nationwide or provided their input online.  The Orlando session drew more than 130 participants at the Garden House at Leu Gardens.

Consumers now have until August 31, 2006 to comment on the Interim Recommendations. Final recommendations will be issued at the end of September and will be sent to the President for review and to the Congress, which will hold hearings.

The Working Group recommends:

  • A public policy that all Americans have affordable health care
  • A “core” benefits package for all Americans
  • Guaranteed financial protection against very high health care costs
  • Development of integrated community health networks
  • More intensive efforts to improve quality of care and efficiency
  • New ways to provide and finance palliative care, hospice and other services, so that people living with advanced incurable conditions have access to them in the environment they choose.

To read the interim recommendations and to make comments online go to the web site at www.CitizensHealthCare.gov. Send comments by physical mail addressed to the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group, Attn: Interim Recommendations, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 575, Bethesda, MD 20814; or by email at CitizensHealth@ahrq.gov. Additional information about the recommendations, the process used to seek public input, and findings from the Working Group’s meetings and internet poll can also be found at the website.

About the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group

The Citizens’ Health Care Working Group is a nonpartisan, independent body whose members were tasked with engaging the public in a nationwide discussion of the nation’s health care system and charged with developing recommendations for the President and Congress to provide U.S. citizens with “Health Care that Works for All Americans.” The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides administrative support as directed by the Medicare Modernization Act.