Monday, September 14, 2009

Health Care Reform, Part 1

I’m asked for my take on health care reform several times a day now. For some reason, people assume that a health insurance executive would be against health care reform.

Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth.

I, and my company UnitedHealthcare, believe that health care reform and modernization are essential. The goal of health care reform should be affordable high-quality health care coverage for all citizens. For us, health reform means modernizing our health care delivery system with new technology, tackling the fundamental drivers of health care cost growth, strengthening employer-based coverage and providing well-targeted support for low-income families.

My industry’s proposal for health reform brings everyone into the system, guarantees coverage for all Americans, does away with pre-existing condition limitations and ends rating based on health status and gender.

I also agree with what President Obama said in his speech last Wednesday that it makes sense to build on what works and fix what doesn’t, rather than try to build an entirely new system from scratch. As the president pointed out, one sixth of our economy is health care, and it makes no sense to tear down one sixth of the economy. It makes more sense to fix what’s broken.

It is difficult for anyone to predict how the reform debate in Washington will ultimately play out. However, there is consensus that the current health care system needs to be modernized and that every American must have access to quality affordable care.

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