In December 2008, President-elect Obama invited Americans to host and participate in HealthCare Community Discussions to talk about how to reform health care in America.
Over 9,000 Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia signed up to host Health Care Community Discussions. Thousands more participated. Friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers, representing the views of both health care patients and providers, came together in homes and offices, coffee shops and fire houses, universities and community centers, all with a common purpose: to discuss reforming the health care system.
The 3,276 group reports were systematically analyzed and the information generated by the Health Care Community Discussions captured in the report, Americans Speak on Health Reform: Report on Health Care Community Discussions.The Web site,www.healthreform.gov. , will allow Americans to view today’s White House Health Forum, share their thoughts about health reform with the Obama Administration and sign a statement in support of President Obama’s commitment to enacting comprehensive health reform this year.
“This new Web site, www.healthreform.gov and report ensure that when we discuss health reform, the American people will have an equal stake in the health reform efforts,” said HHS Spokeswoman Jenny Backus. “Sky-rocketing health care costs are creating enormous pressure on families, on businesses and our fiscal future. The Obama Administration is committed to taking action this year on health reform and is calling on government, business, health care stakeholders and everyday Americans to come together to make it happen.”
The cost of health care services and health insurance was the top concern about the health care system for 55 percent of discussion participants. Participants also cited lack of emphasis on prevention, pre-existing conditions limiting insurance access, and the quality of care as key concerns. A qualitative analysis found that the Health Care Community Discussions focused on concerns about a “broken” health system, access to health insurance and services, rising premiums and drug costs, medical mistakes and the system not being “for them.”