Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Healthy Voices Across The Nation

From the halls and meeting rooms of Capitol Hill to the offices and press conferences of governors around the country, proposals and ideas for reforming our health care system are being announced and argued. A vast array of approaches and plans are being put forth as people on both sides of the partisan fence attempt to find an equitable and implementable solution to the current state of affairs.

Across the nation, citizens are being consulted on the subject as the politicians evaluate possible support for their various plans.

East Coast: In Vermont, the state Legislature's Health Care Reform Commission is consulting its constituency for input. According to the announcement in the Rutland Herald, some questions the Commission put forth in their open hearing were:

What do you believe the next steps should be in health care reform?

What specific suggestions do you have for expanding the state's new Catamount health insurance program for people without coverage?

In addition to expanding affordable coverage, which of the options being considered by the commission are most important to successful health care reform?

Midwest: In Iowa, the consultation with the voting public continues, as reported by The Journal. Their article focuses on Kay Ciha, a resident who has had constant issues with the Medicare system since her husband suffered an accident:

Ciha was one of about 20 county residents from all walks of life - seniors, businesspeople, physicians - that took part in a forum for the Legislative Commission on Affordable Health Care Plans for Small Businesses and Families, a bipartisan group of legislators working to provide a cost-effective health care to Iowans. Sen. Becky Schmitz and a representative for U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack attended the meeting to hear the wish lists of people who were present.

West Coast: eMax Health reports, the findings of CaliforniaSpeaks, a 3,500 person statewide conversation that took place simultaneously across Sacramento, San Diego, Humboldt County, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Oakland and Riverside on August 11:

The eight sites were linked by satellite, so that participants could see and hear what other attendees said across the state. Skilled facilitators led face-to-face discussions at each location while ideas were recorded, considered and voted upon throughout the day with personal voting keypads. To ensure that attendees spanned all different ages, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds, CaliforniaSpeaks used a random selection process to invite most of the participants to take part in the conversation.
While there is a diversity of opinions on the subject, concern over the issue seems nearly universal.

SOURCE: "Public Input Sought on Health Care Reform" 08/29/07
SOURCE: "Citizens Voice Concerns on Health Care" 08/30/07
SOURCE: "How Californians View Current Health Care Reform Proposals" 08/30/07
IMAGE SOURCE : public domain map

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