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Healthcare Reform Should Remain a Priority says Researcher

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Health Care Reform

According to Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., director of the Indiana University Center for Health Policy and Professionalism, associate professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine and a pediatrician at Riley Hospital for Children, the time is ripe for healthcare reform. The results of a national survey, published last year, polling physician opinion on national health insurance showed that fifty -nine percent of physicians support national health insurance legislation.

Dr. Carroll's research focuses on physician support, pharmaceutical industry influence, medical malpractice, and medical education.

Dr. Carroll says, given the current economic climate, the Obama administration must prioritize. "If the new administration wants to accomplish significant reform, they will need political capital, which they have now…with the economy in its current state, with unemployment on the rise, and with health care costs on the ascent, more and more people will not be able to afford insurance or health care. Therefore, more will be in need of reform." says Carroll.

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Dr. Carroll points out , "The combination of a sagging economy, increasing numbers of uninsured, and a disproportionately affected middle class makes this a critical junction" for healthcare reform. The conflict lies in effective change that also keeps costs down. Economic stimulus should focus on "access to health care and quality of care first."

Carroll says there are more than forty five million people who have not had health insurance for the entire year, and twice that many lacked health insurance part of the year. Most uninsured are from middle-class families.

Dr. Carroll suggests that the public as well as legislators need to be realistic about spending decisions. "As we already spend much more on health care than any other country, and we are committed to spending even more to stimulate the economy, it seems rational to focus on access to health care and quality of care first."

Carroll's recommendation for healthcare reform amounts to simply setting government spending priorities. Healthcare reform financing should be at the top of the list when considering how money is spent to stimulate the economy.

Source - IU.edu: Prioritizing health care reform components