Marcia Nielsen, vice chancellor for public policy and planning, Kansas University Medical Center
“We arguably have some of the world’s best medical care, but we do not have a system that organizes that medical care efficiently for consumers, providers or purchasers. Instead, too often the insurers pull in one direction, the providers in another, and purchasers/businesses yet another. The consumer is then left in the middle with an expensive system that is difficult to navigate,” she said.
Nielsen said the U.S. spends too much money — twice as much as other industrialized countries — and yet we aren’t the healthiest country in the world, don’t insure all Americans, and have room for improvement in terms of quality.
She favors affordable health care for all Americans.
“To do that, we have got to include in health reform those things — based on the best data, not anecdotes — that are proven to improve our health and save money,” she said.
On that list, she said, are well-coordinated primary care and prevention, and the work force to support it, especially in rural areas. That includes standardizing how providers share information with one another and with patients.
“None of this is simple or easy,” she said.
She fears Congress won’t enact any reform.
“With the uncontrolled rising cost of health care and insurance, the status quo is simply unsustainable. We can’t afford not to act, especially in this economy,” she said.
Kansans weigh in on health care reform
- Have your say.
- Graham Bailey, vice president of public relations, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas
- Rod Bremby, Secretary, Kansas Department of Health and Environment
- Corrie Edwards, executive director, Kansas Health Consumer Coalition
- Jerry Kemberling, Unemployed, Lawrence
- Gene Meyer, CEO/president, Lawrence Memorial Hospital
- Marcia Nielsen, vice chancellor for public policy and planning, Kansas University Medical Center
- Sandy Praeger, Kansas insurance commissioner
- Jon Stewart, Director, LEO Center
- Judy Bellome, executive director of Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care
- Dr. Alan Cowles, Social Security disability benefits advocate
- Marcia Epstein, director of Headquarters Counseling Center in Lawrence
- Dr. David Goering, medical director for Health Care Access
- Mitzi McFatrich, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care
- Dan Partridge, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department director
- Margie Wakefield, small business owner