In December, the Presidential Transition Team invited Americans to host and participate in health care community discussions, and the employees and staff of Family Care Network were a part of that process. The idea was to for small, local gatherings to discuss health care, identify what's broken, suggest ideas to fix it and submit responses to the Transition Team for analysis of the nations feedback.
On March 5, Health and Human Services issued a special report of the community discussion outcomes. Over 9,000 Americans in 50 states and Washington, DC signed up to host a forum and 3,276 group reports were submitted to the Transition Teams special website (www.change.gov).
The report shows that America’s concerns and views are very similar to the discussion that we had here at Family Care Network. Concerns focused on access to health insurance, rising premiums and high drug costs, and the “broken” health system, with poor access to primary care, and lack of affordability. Also of concern was being “under insurable,” medical mistakes and the system not being “for them.” Of the groups reporting cost of health care concerns, 28% focused on health insurance premiums and another 28% focused on the overall cost of the system.
The solutions suggested by the reporting groups highlighted the need for a system that is fair (36%), patient centered and choice oriented (19%), simple and efficient (17%), and comprehensive (15%). Fairness was a very common theme, and our current "system" was perceived to be quite "unfair". Some respondent groups said that health care should be considered a basic right, not a privilege and many felt the system should insure all Americans.
The analysis of responses found there were no significant differences in opinion based on rural or city location, region of the country, average income or employment status. The only exception noted was that those who represented the health care field expressed more concerns with provider shortages, the lack of a “system,” inadequate research, payment rates, medical malpractice, inefficiency of the system, and inadequate treatment of mental health.