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Panel, Senate Address Universal Health Insurance Coverage

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Universal Health Insurance Coverage

The following summarizes recent coverage about the universal health care debate.

  • Access:Increasing access to medical care is not enough to solve the extensiveand complex health needs of at-risk groups, health experts said onTuesday during a panel sponsored by Health Affairs, CQ HealthBeatreports. Speakers said that factors including socioeconomic status,education and environment are bigger determinants of overall healthcare than access. A related report appears in the September/Octoberissue of the magazine. Nicole Lurie, director of the RAND Center for Population Health and Health Disparities,said, "How you fare is how you live," adding that there is "extremelystrong evidence that where you live and who you live with have reallyimportant effects on your biology" (Webber, CQ HealthBeat, 9/11).
  • Senate hearing: At a Senate Budget Committeehearing Tuesday about universal coverage, committee Chair Kent Conrad(D-N.D.) said there needs to be bipartisan support of universal healthcare, especially among presidential candidates, regardless of the typeof system put into place, CQ HealthBeat reports. "Risinghealth care costs represent the most significant threat to our nationalbudget," he said, adding, "Part of the solution ... is that we need tohave universal health coverage." Conrad suggested testing differentmethods in several states. During the hearing, Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-Vt.) endorsed a nationalized system, saying, "I think health care,just like education, should be a right of all people." According to CQ HealthBeat, "No single approach seemed to garner the most favor among panel lawmakers" (Walker, CQ HealthBeat, 9/11).

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