Archive for Tuesday, June 9, 1992

LEAGUE SUPPORTS CALL FOR REFORM OF HEALTH CARE

June 9, 1992

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The Lawrence-Douglas County League of Women Voters has embraced all of the national organization's health care reform platform, a local league official said today.

"Our position is pretty much right in tune with what came out nationally," said Jeanne Cook, chair of the chapter's health care panel.

The League of Woman Voters of the United States called for stringent cost control measures in the health care industry, universal access to health care and a standard definition of basic care for all U.S. residents.

"We definitely felt everyone should have some health care," Cook said. "We also felt strongly that there had to be a reduction in administrative costs."

HIGHLIGHTS of the national organization's conclusions reached in consultation with 820 chapters are:

99 percent of participating chapters said a minimum basic level of care should be available to all Americans regardless of their ability to pay.

96 percent said efficient and economical delivery of care should be a high priority.

96 percent believed excessive administrative costs must be curtailed.

"For millions of Americans, health care is too expensive or unavailable," Susan Lederman, president of the U.S. league, said in a statement. "We can no longer manage with our makeshift system. It fails too many Americans. It is time for Congress to vote for fundamental reform."

THE U.S. league's position paper marked completion of the first phase of a two-year study on the delivery and financing of health care.

The second phase, scheduled for completion in 1993, will establish the league's position on health care financing.

"Financing will be the hard part," Cook said.

Cook said the local chapter endorsed a call for independent review of treatments to control costs and reduce unnecessary care.

The local unit opposed a platform plank that stated consumers should pay deductibles and copayments to cut overall health care costs, she said.

"We need malpractice insurance reform, rather than malpractice insurance," she said. "Many of the locals blame insurance companies for driving up the cost of health insurance."

Cook said local league members also were uncertain about proposals for implementing managed care plans.

LEAGUE MEMBERS will lobby the Legislature and Congress in support of the national platform, said Nancy Shontz, spokeswoman for the local chapter.

Shontz said a local unit was only obligated to lobby for portions of the platform that the unit endorsed.

"It's not like a national government dictating what the position is going to be," she said. "It's the reverse."

Individual league members can take positions independent of the national consensus, Shontz said.

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