Boston leaders take part in town hall meeting to discuss health care reform
November 20, 2008
Business, government and health industry leaders will gather in Boston today joining a dozen cities across the nation in hosting simultaneous town hall meetings to discuss health care reform and the issues of greatest priority for President-elect Obama's administration. Proposals to Policy: a National Conversation on Health Care Reform is a unique effort that draws together local leaders in a town hall setting to debate and determine the main concerns facing health care reform in Massachusetts and how those concerns can translate to change at the national level.
Children's Hospital Boston is working with the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), to foster a dialogue about health reform that will address the trio of issues of access, quality and affordability of health care. NACHRI and Children's Hospital Boston are particularly focused on improving health coverage provided by Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
"Children's hospitals are the backbone of the pediatric health care infrastructure," said James Mandell, MD, chief executive officer at Children's Hospital Boston. "In addition to providing top quality care, children's hospitals work to protect the health needs of all children. To do this we must make children's needs a health care reform priority and advocate with the incoming administration as it sets priorities for its first term."
Proposals to Policy, held at Children's Hospital Boston, will begin with a live broadcast of a national level town hall meeting conducted at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Immediately following the conclusion of the live broadcast, Boston's own town hall panel discussion will cover specific implications of health care reform for the city and Massachusetts.
"We are faced with a unique and historical opportunity to rise to the challenge of protecting the health of our nation's citizens - particularly children, the most vulnerable among us," said NACHRI President and CEO Lawrence McAndrews. "Just as leaders of the 1930s created social programs that simultaneously helped protect Americans and contributed to rebuilding our economy, we must recognize that today we have a similar opportunity to strengthen our health care system and build on lessons of the past."
Children's hospitals, led by NACHRI's public policy affiliate the National Association of Children's Hospitals (NACH), spent the past year creating a set of nine principles for children's coverage in health care reform. Children's hospitals will introduce these principles to state legislators following the town hall meetings.
"The likelihood that major changes to the American health care system will be enacted under the new president have increased not only because the current system is broken and needs fixing but because the President-elect has promised to do something about it," said David Chin, MD, MBA, partner in the Health Industries Advisory Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. "It is true that for every action there is a reaction and we need to start thinking today about how major reforms will affect the health, wealth and well being of Massachusetts residents, businesses, hospitals, physicians, and insurers - and the sustainability of our local health system."
PricewaterhouseCoopers recently presented a new report titled Healthcare policy in an Obama administration: Delivering on the promise of universal coverage, which looks comprehensively at the implications of the new administration's health reform proposals.
Leading the Boston discussion of the impact of health care reform are:
- David Chin, MD, MBA, partner, Health Industries Advisory Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers
- Andrew Dreyfus, executive vice president, Health Care Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
- James Mandell, MD, chief executive officer, Children's Hospital Boston
- Amy Rosenthal, program director, New England Alliance for Children's Health
- R.D. Sahl, principal anchor, New England Cable News
The Boston event, held in the Enders Auditorium on the main Children's Hospital Boston campus, will begin with the national broadcast at 1:00PM, followed by the local town hall meeting at 2PM.
Leaders from business, local government and the health care industry in 10 additional cities will host their own simultaneous town hall meetings at their local children's hospitals. The other cities participating include:
- All Children's Hospital, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL
- Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, CA
- Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI
- Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center at Oakland, Oakland, CA
- Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
- Children's Medical Center of Dallas, TX
- Lucille Packard Children's Hospital, Palo Alto, CA
- Miami Children's Hospital, Miami, FL
- Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, New York, NY
- Rainbow Babies & Children'’s Hospital, Cleveland, OH
Founded in 1869 as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is the nation's leading pediatric medical center, the largest provider of health care to Massachusetts children, and the primary pediatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. In addition to 397 pediatric and adolescent inpatient beds and comprehensive outpatient programs, Children's houses the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries benefit both children and adults. More than 500 scientists, including nine members of the National Academy of Sciences, seven members of the Institute of Medicine and 13 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. For more information about the hospital visit: www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom.
The National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) is a membership organization of children's hospitals with more than 218 members in the United States, Canada, Australia, China, Italy and the United Kingdom. NACHRI promotes the health and well-being of children and their families through support of children's hospitals and health systems that are committed to excellence in providing health care to children. It does so through education, research, health promotion and advocacy.
The National Association of Children's Hospitals' Principles for Children's Coverage in Health Care Reform is available at www.childrenshospitals.net.
PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Industries serves as a catalyst for change and the leading advisor to organizations across the health continuum, including payers, providers, health sciences, biotech/medical devices, pharmaceutical and employer practices in the public, private and academic sectors.
PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Industries' clients include both 40 of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. and 16 of the 18 best hospitals as ranked by US News & World Report; all 20 of the world's major pharmaceutical companies; all of the top 20 commercial payers in the U.S.; municipal, state and federal government agencies and many of the world's preeminent medical foundations and associations.
The PwC report "Healthcare policy in an Obama administration: Delivering on the promise of universal coverage" is available at www.PwC.com/ObamaHealthReport.
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