Last night, I gathered with a group of about 30 to discuss our current healthcare crisis (it’s a crisis in my opinion).
Change.gov initiated discussions like ours to encourage communities to gather and talk about healthcare. The discussions started on December 15th and must be completed by today (December 31). Summaries of the discussions must be submitted to Change.gov (i.e. Tom Daschle, Secretary-designate of Health and Human Services) by January 4th, so that a report can be created for the President-elect.
It was truly empowering to gather and share ideas to benefit the health of all Americans. I was inspired by the realization that no matter your political/party preference, we can all work together to create positive change (Democracy IN action versus Democracy inaction). We all have an integral voice and a vital role to create a country that survives (preferably flourishes) and supports its people.
Here were the questions (provided by Change.gov) that we discussed:
- 1. Briefly, from your own experience, what do you perceive is the biggest problem in the health system?
- 2. How do you choose a doctor or hospital? What are your sources for information? How should public policy promote quality health care providers?
- 3. Have you or your family members ever experienced difficulty paying medical bills? What do you think policy makers can do to address this problem?
- 4. In addition to employer-based coverage, would you like the option to purchase a private plan through an insurance-exchange or a public plan like Medicare?
- 5. Do you know how much you or your employer pays for health insurance? What should an employer’s role be in a reformed health care system?
- 6. Examples of preventative services Americans should receive: mammogram, flu shot, cholesterol screening. Have you gotten the prevention you should have? If not, how can public policy help? (I know there are debates on these specific screenings. However, the question is more about ACCESS to prevention services not the efficacy of specific screenings.)
- 7. How can public policy promote healthier lifestyles?
We still have a bit of time, so let’s discuss here. I’ll include this blog discussion in with our summary from last night. Just comment on this post to share your thoughts on any of the questions above…