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From The Blog

  
California Health Benefits Exchange
September 06, 2012

California has always been a leader in innovation. Right now, California is poised to be among the leaders, again, in launching a State Health Benefits Exchange that can help transform delivery of health care, lowering costs and improving quality of care for all Californians.

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Maryland's Health Reform Milestone
May 08, 2012

Health reform passed an important milestone in the State of Maryland, last week, when Governor Martin O’Malley signed state legislation into law that establishes Maryland as a national leader in transforming the way healthcare will be delivered to residents of the state.

Among the provisions of Maryland’s new 2012 health exchange law is authorization for the State’s Health Insurance Exchange Board “to use effective methods such as team-based patient-centered medical care” to reduce costs and improve quality of health care provided through the State exchange. 

In Maryland and across the nation, America’s Agenda has advocated transformation from the predominant, fragmented, fee-for-service approach to delivering care that fuels rapid inflation in medical and health insurance costs to a patient-centered, team-based care delivery strategy that has demonstrated its effectiveness in improving care quality and reducing growth in overall healthcare costs.

It is an irony that, while the ACA-created state health insurance exchanges offer an unprecedented opportunity to advance patient-centered, team-based transformation of US health care, they also pose a troubling threat to the future of employment-based health care in America.

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America’s Agenda and NCCMP to Co-Sponsor Workshop at NCCMP Annual Meeting
September 17, 2011

America's Agenda: Health Care for All will co-sponsor a workshop entitled "21st Century Care Delivery strategies that Will Drive Down Taft-Hartley Plan Costs” on September 27 at the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP) Annual Conference in Hollywood, Florida. The conference, which runs from September 26 - 28, will bring Taft-Hartley health plan representatives together to discuss strategies for protecting and strengthening multi-employer plans in the new, post-federal reform environment.

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Jointly-Governed Health Plans Step Up to Lead the Kind of Transformation Americans Want
July 01, 2011

Over the past several months, America's Agenda President Doug Dority and I have crisscrossed the country, meeting with union and employer leaders from coast to coast...  We believe our message is urgent and important to the survival of America's employment-based health insurance system - at least, until a better solution is ready to replace it...

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Keeping Our Eyes on the Health Reform Prize
March 24, 2011

by America's Agenda Board Member Lloyd H. Dean, President and CEO of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), and David Lansky, Ph.D.

On the anniversary of health reform, let's remember that we just started making the deep changes that will transform our fragmented health care system into a modern, coordinated approach to care that will reduce cost and improve quality.

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Labor Seats at the COOP Health Plan Table
March 15, 2011

Yesterday I was honored to testify before the Department of HHS Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (COOP) Advisory Board regarding implementation of the federal reform COOP Program in the state exchanges. 

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America's Agenda Condemns Assaults on Collective Bargaining
March 03, 2011

Bipartisan Health Care Advocate Emphasizes Contribution of Collective Bargaining to Improving Health Coverage for All Americans

WASHINGTON-- America's Agenda, a bipartisan health care reform advocate, expressed solidarity with workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, and nine other states where proposed legislation has threatened collective bargaining rights.

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America's Agenda Thanks AARP of West Virginia for Supporting Team-Based Care
February 03, 2011

WASHINGTON-- America's Agenda, a nonpartisan group focused on lowering health care costs and improving patient care thanked the AARP of West Virginia in a statement today. "West Virginians should be proud," said America's Agenda Executive Director Mark Blum.

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Congratulations to a Transformative Leader!
January 04, 2011

We’re heading into a new year that holds real promise for accelerating the transformation American health care needs. What better occasion to celebrate the leadership and vision of those remarkable health care providers who are stepping onto the front lines of a movement that is reshaping the way health care is delivered, improving the quality of our care, and demonstrating impressive potential to rein in runaway growth of health costs?

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RED LETTER DAY: Obama Administration Puts Two Health Care Delivery Transformation Building Blocks Into Place
November 16, 2010

Today, the Obama Administration put into place two building blocks of what could become a coherent strategy for reining in growth in health costs and improving care quality for all Americans.  

 

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Midterm Voters Challenge Both Parties To Improve Health Reform
November 12, 2010

It’s no secret that the electorate is deeply divided over health reform. Exit polls from last week’s midterms showed that 48% of voters supported repeal, while 47% supported either strengthening the law or leaving it as it is.   This is hardly a mandate to repeal or replace the 2010 federal health reform.

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Double-Digit Health Insurance Increases Slam Working Families in 2011
October 19, 2010

New projections are reinforcing expectations that the working family portion of health insurance premiums will rise by double digits, once again, in 2011. As these costs increase, families struggling, already, with wage stagnation and high rates of unemployment will cling even more tenuously to their grasp on a middle class standard of living.

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The Next Big Steps in Health Reform
September 24, 2010

Passage of reform this year was a breakthrough against a wall of resistance that has prevented progress in reforming health care for decades.  Tens of millions of Americans who had no health insurance, at all, will gain coverage under this law.  Millions will have better coverage than before.


But the job is incomplete. 

 

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The Key Argument In The President's Two Cases for Health Reform
July 24, 2009

The agenda for health care reform actually addresses two main items: “health care delivery system reform” and “insurance reform.”

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Voter Consensus on Reforming Health Care Systems
July 17, 2009

The debate over health reform is heating up, and now it’s more important than ever to understand the broad common grounds that exists.

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America’s Agenda Holds Press Event to Announce a Bipartisan, Consensus Approach to Health Care Reform
June 18, 2009

America’s Agenda member organizations held a press conference in Washington, D.C. to highlight our growing bipartisan alliance of business, labor and heath care leaders.

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It’s been a very busy week on Capitol Hill and for America’s Agenda.
June 08, 2009

Today’s guest is Dr. C. Martin Harris, CIO & Chairman of the Information Technology Division at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

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Health Care debate on Capital Hill is becoming more important than ever before.
June 08, 2009

As each day passes, the health care debate on Capitol Hill is becoming more important than ever before.

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Members of Congress are back from Memorial Day recess and work on health care reform continues.
June 05, 2009

Today’s post features comments from Dr. Ken Thorpe, America’s Agenda Sr. Director for Policy and the policy architect of Vermont’s landmark 2006 Health Care Affordability Act. 

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Dr. Donna Shalala offered her thoughts on health care reform at our January Summit Conversations in Miami.
June 05, 2009

During our January Summit Conversation in Miami, Dr. Donna Shalala, President of the University of Miami, offered her thoughts on the need for health care reform.

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It’s an exciting time for those of us who work on health care issues here in Washington.
June 03, 2009

As the national discussion about health care reform continues, America’s Agenda will work with leaders from our past Summit Conversations to highlight key policy issues.

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San Francisco "Summit Conversation:" Another Successful Dialogue on Health Reform! – A behind the scenes look at the San Francisco event
May 28, 2009

Held at the University of California-San Francisco’s Mission Bay Conference Center, we brought together 12 government, health care, labor and business leaders to talk about how to modernize our health care system.

Read More...

Our Headlines

  
SWEENEY PILOT AIMS TO SAVE MONEY, IMPROVE PUBLIC-EMPLOYEE HEALTHCARE
February 13, 2015

Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney has unveiled a proposal for a pilot project that -- if successful -- could go a long way toward saving money on health benefits for state workers while keeping them healthy.

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NJ public unions: Better, cheaper health care possible
February 12, 2015

Public worker unions will advocate for New Jersey to test out ‘patient-centered’ approaches to health care they say would save taxpayers money by improving care for chronic conditions.

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NJ AFL-CIO Supports Concept of Patient-Centered Health Care
February 12, 2015

After briefing the New Jersey State AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions on Thursday, Senate President Stephen Sweeney unveiled plans to pilot a new, patient-centered health care delivery system in select regions of the state.

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Sweeney returns public labor to the fold with call for patient-centered healthcare
February 12, 2015

TRENTON — Taking a stand against what he characterized as rising care costs spurred on by the Affordable Care Act and brandishing what looked to be redeemed public labor support, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) outlined a plan this afternoon for a more “personalized” approach to healthcare for state employees in New Jersey.

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Senate President Proposes Patient-Centered Health Care Pilot Program
February 12, 2015

Senate President Steve Sweeney this afternoon announced a pilot program he says will improve health care and reduce cost. “I know that’s hard to believe, but it is doable, it is very possible to get done,” he said.

Read More...
Primary Care Direct Model: 'Neither Insurance nor Health Plan'
September 06, 2012

A new model of health care delivery -- direct primary care -- could be déjà vu for some Californians, a retreat to the past when insurance wasn't a part of the health care equation. Direct primary care emphasizes prevention and a reduction in the use of "downstream services" -- treating symptoms rather than the problems themselves.

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Two Groups Join Effort To Monitor California Health Benefit Exchange
August 30, 2012

The California Medical Association and the Food & Drug Council have joined a statewide alliance that seeks to monitor developments in the California Health Benefit Exchange, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 8/29).

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Groups Join Alliance to Monitor Development of Health Benefit Exchange
August 29, 2012

The California Medical Association and the Food & Drug Council have joined a statewide alliance of business and labor leaders, health plans, providers and patient advocates monitoring developments in the California Health Benefit Exchange.

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Direct Primary Care Providers Lower Cost of Concierge Services
May 21, 2012

On the road 50 hours a week, the drivers who work for Becker Trucking, headquartered in Seattle, have little trouble finding cheap eats at the all-night diners lining the interstates of the Pacific Northwest. But many drivers were struggling with chronic poor health, and the company’s health costs were rising fast. What his employees really needed, the company president realized, was better access to doctors.

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Advocacy Group Offers Plan for Affordable Health Care
November 15, 2011

Officials from a health care advocacy group have presented something of a road map to the state leaders at the Maryland Health Exchange Board, whose members are working to implement the national health care reform law.

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W.Va. Lawmakers Urged to Target Chronic Illnesses
October 13, 2011

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - With chronically ill West Virginians accounting for at least three-fourths of health spending in the state, coordinating their care can do much to ease the rise in such costs, an Emory University professor told a House-Senate committee studying the issue Tuesday.

Kenneth Thorpe, chair of Emory's Rollins School of Public Health, also recommended expanding a diet, exercise and lifestyle program that he said has prevented adult-onset diabetes and can provide similar results against other chronic illnesses.

"Both of these things are important capacity-building investments that I think at the end of the day are going to prove to have very substantial dividends," Thorpe told the Joint Committee on Health.

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West Virginia Ahead of Curve on Healthcare Reform, Experts Say
August 30, 2010

West Virginia is taking strong steps to get ready for the new federal health-care reform law, Kathleen Stoll, deputy director of the non-profit Families USA, told a conference of West Virginia health-care workers, policy-makers and advocates Monday.

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America's Agenda Calls on Congress and the Obama Administration to Complete Health Care Reform
January 27, 2010

This morning, America's Agenda joined with a broad “National Coalition of Health Reform Coalitions” at a press conference calling on the White House and Congress to continue their efforts to enact health care reform that Americans need, now, more than ever.

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Leading Coalition of Business and Labor Leaders Voices Opposition to Proposed Health Plan Excise Tax
January 12, 2010

 America’s Agenda: Health Care for All, a leading coalition of business and labor organizations, submitted a letter today to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressing strong opposition to the proposed excise tax on higher-cost “Cadillac” health plans included in HR 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

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Thompson, Gephardt: Keep Going
December 21, 2009

The duo “urge Members of the Senate to continue to work toward enacting consensus health-care reform legislation” – adding that “"The bill before the Senate this week isn't and shouldn't be the final answer, but the status quo is simply unacceptable.”

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New Health Care Poll Looks At Swing Districts
November 24, 2009

Opinion polls on health care reform keep piling up, and most of them show the public’s deep ambivalence, if not rejection, of the House and Senate bills on the table. But a new survey of residents in key battleground congressional districts found 

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White House Cites A Republican's Support
November 20, 2009

The White House is once again distributing a statement from a Republican in support of health care reform.

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A Business Lesson for Health Care Reform
October 13, 2009

In the often contentious but vital debate over health care reform, one issue unites patients, doctors, business owners and workers alike: the need to reduce how much Americans pay for the care they receive.

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Former Bush Health Secretary Thompson Praises The Senate Finance Bill
October 05, 2009

In a statement distributed by the White House Monday, Tommy Thompson — the former Republican presidential candidate, health and human services secretary in the Bush administration, and four-term governor of Wisconsin — gives strong praise to the health care legislation that is expected to be voted on by the Senate Finance Committee later this week.

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Here's At Least One Viable Plan For Health Care Reform This Year
September 24, 2009

The need for health reform grows more urgent by the day. Costs are skyrocketing, hurting families and businesses. 

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Statement from Mark Blum on President Obama's Health Care Address
September 09, 2009

“After months of spirited conversation and debate, it is time to move forward a broadly supported, pro-growth health-care reform package that reduces costs, helps prevent chronic disease, preserves patient choice, encourages personal responsibility, and, most importantly, ensures quality and affordable care for all Americans,” said Mark Blum, executive director of the organization.

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Let's Reset the Tone In the Health Care Debate
September 04, 2009

Far too often in our nation's policy-making process, we allow ourselves to get caught up in the divisive aspects of issues rather than focusing on how we can work together to achieve a historic, bipartisan result. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the debate over health-care reform set to enter a critical phase when lawmakers return to Washington next week.

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Southern WV Women Living Shorter Lives
September 04, 2009

Women in southern West Virginia are living shorter lives than women in much of the nation, according to a report released today.

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Senators, Obama Begin To Settle On Message Strategies
August 05, 2009

Democratic senators met Tuesday with President Obama to begin coordinating their message on a healthcare overhaul that seems likely to focus on cost containment and changing the way the insurance industry does business.

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Obama's Turning Point
July 19, 2009

Sooner than anyone had anticipated, President Obama's drive for health reform has reached a crucial decision point.

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While the U.S. Spends Heavily on Health Care, a Study Faults the Quality
July 17, 2009

American medical care may be the most expensive in the world, but that does not mean it is worth every penny.

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Poll: Most Voters Want Health Overhaul That Improves Care, Lowers Cost
July 16, 2009

Although much attention in health overhaul legislation has been given to a public plan option, employer mandates and other hotly contested proposals, most voters favor a health system overhaul

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Diverse Voices Call For Health Care Reform
July 13, 2009

As the push for national health care reform shifts into high gear, there's reason to think we may get it done this time.

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Concern Grows That Healthcare Overhaul Won't Cut Costs
July 13, 2009

Although still publicly beating the drums for President Obama's healthcare overhaul, representatives of some of the biggest players are beginning to express concern behind the scenes that it won't do enough about the major problem: runaway medical costs.

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Insurers May Face Fees To Help Fund Health Overhaul (Update 1)
July 09, 2009

Insurance companies should use their profits to help fund as much as $100 billion of a landmark U.S. health-care system, senators including Democrat Charles Schumer of New York said.

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What I Learned About Health Care In The 1990s
July 05, 2009

With the growth in health-care costs skyrocketing higher each year, people are demanding change in our health system. 

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Congressional Quarterly Afternoon Briefing
June 09, 2009

Leaders from business, labor and health care provider communities announced Tuesday a list of health care priorities that members say are nonpartisan, common sense goals for any overhaul legislation.

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Steep Costs Damage Families, Businesses
June 08, 2009

As veterans of many political battles, we both learned long ago that far-reaching legislation like health care reform requires House and Senate Members to strike consensus. 

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West Virginia Legislation Passes Landmark Healthcare Reform
June 01, 2009

SB 414, passed by the West Virginia legislature on May 28th, is the centerpiece of a group of landmark health reform bills passed by the West Virginia legislature this year.

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Dragging Health Care Records Into The Digital Age
May 18, 2009

Walk though a typical Kaiser Permanente doctor's office or hospital, and you won't find a paper chart lying around. Kaiser, with 450 hospitals and offices around the country, is almost entirely paperless.  

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UCSF Hosts High-Profile Summit On Health Care Reform
May 15, 2009

A strong push from the Obama administration and Democratic leaders in Congress has set the wheels in motion toward national health care reform.

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Disease Prevention And The 4th Summit Conversation
May 06, 2009

Since I spent yesterday talking about health insurance, it seems fitting to switch gears to another health reform discussion: the fourth America’s Agenda Health Care Summit Conversation, happening today at 11am PST at the University of California San Francisco.  

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A Letter from Speaker Nancy Pelosi
May 06, 2009

Dear Friends, Best wishes for a successful Summit Conversation on American Health Care for the 2Ist Century at the University of Califomia- San Francisco.

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Fixing Health Care Won't Be Easy, But It Can Get Done
April 28, 2009

America has been talking for half a century about providing quality health care for every citizen. 

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Summit On Health Care Concludes Real Reform Begins With Disease Prevention
March 13, 2009

Participants at the second of four forums on health care being held across the country concluded that real health care reform must start with disease prevention and better health information technology.

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Brainstorming About Health Care In First Of Summit 'Conversations'
February 25, 2009

John R. Seffrin, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of the American Cancer Society, and its advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN, participated in a health care summit at the University of Miami during which leaders from medicine, business, and government discussed ideas to reform the US health system in the new Presidential administration. 

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ANA President Attended Summit Conversations: Exploring The Emerging Consensus On American Health Car
February 04, 2009

American Nurses Association (ANA) President, Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR attended the first  of a series of “Summit Conversations” to highlight the emerging national consensus on key components of a reformed 21st century health care system on January 28, 2009, at the University of Miami.  

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Heal Health Care
January 31, 2009

The drumbeat of news about the ailing U.S. economy constantly reminds us all about the uncertainties we will continue to face if Congress and the Obama Administration do not act swiftly on an economic-recovery plan.

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Diverse Coalition Working Toward Health Reform Consensus
January 30, 2009

While it may not sell newspapers or light up the ratings on cable shout shows, a diverse group of interests has quietly moved toward consensus on the need for significant health reform this year.

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Health Care Summit Conversations
January 27, 2009

major summit begins tomorrow in Florida on health care reform. With Donna Shalala moderating, this summit. There will be a dedicated topic on Health Information Technology with one of the key speakers C. Martin Harris of the Cleveland Clinic.

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Health System Can Be Mended
January 27, 2009

Our broken healthcare system is bankrupting people and businesses. We're all paying a lot more and getting less. Our nation's economic future depends on making the right policy choices on healthcare.

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Drug Industry Adapts to Democrats' Mounting Clout
October 24, 2008

The pharmaceutical industry is paying $13.2 million to run advertisements supporting 28 politicians, all but three of them Democrats, in an example of how interest groups are already adjusting to the prospect of stronger Democratic control of Congress in 2009.

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America's Agenda Co-Sponsors TV AD Urging Women To "Vote Like Your Health Depends On It..."
October 23, 2008

America's Agenda: Health Care for All, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, and a team of co-sponsors have launched a nationwide TV spot focusing on health care reform that is running over the two weeks leading up to the presidential election.

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WV Poll Finds Strong Support For Health Care Reform
October 15, 2008

With the election just weeks away, a new poll shows that 79% of West Virginia residents would be more likely to vote for political candidates who worked to guarantee quality health care for all.

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Poll: Cost Prevents W. Va. Residents To See Doctor
October 02, 2008

The majority of West Virginia residents with weight and health problems admit they need help, but many don't see a doctor because they can't afford it or can't get there.

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Business, Healthcare Groups Band Together to Promote West Virginia Health Care Reform
October 02, 2008

A group of businesses and healthcare groups are joining forces to help make health care more accessible and affordable in West Virginia.

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Numbers With Meaning
October 02, 2008

Too many West Virginians are going without healthcare and that has to change. 

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Summit Conversations Will Explore the Range of Consensus on Health Care Reform
August 26, 2008

At the Democratic Convention event honoring Dick Gephardt, America's Agenda announced the launch of its new Summit Conversations series on American health care for the 21st century.

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National Expert to Lead WV Health Care Reform
May 20, 2008

For years now, West Virginia lawmakers have been tossing around different initiatives and policy adjustments to lower the cost of health care.

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Emory Professor to Design New Health System for State
May 20, 2008

Kenneth Thorpe has a tough challenge ahead: Oversee the design of a more efficient, less expensive health-care system for West Virginia.

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Health Care Reform: Is The Timing Right?
January 28, 2008

When we're too sick to participate in the workforce, when our employers can't keep up with skyrocketing costs, when preventable diseases go unchecked and result in costly complications, we all pay the price.

Read More...
American Cancer Society CEO To Participate In 'Summit Conversations'
January 22, 2008

John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), will join other leaders from labor, health care, government and business January 28 at the University of Miami in the first of ten "Summit Conversations" on health care reform.

Read More...

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    Opinion

    How I Was Wrong About ObamaCare

    By BOB KOCHER | WSJ | July 31, 2016


    The law’s drafters wanted consolidation: 112 hospital mergers last year. But smaller practices have improved care better.

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