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Science & Tech

Passing the health care buck

Alan Sager on why Massachusetts has the highest health care costs in the world

Source: Alan Sager

Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are expected to announce progress this week on legislation intended to give more Bay State residents access to healthcare. The proposals still in the works would charge assessments on Massachusetts businesses that do not provide health insurance.

But some health care activists aren’t so certain that the emerging consensus on Beacon Hill represents genuine reform. Alan Sager is a professor at the Boston University School of Public health, and the co-director of the university’s Access and Affordability Monitoring Project. He offers this commentary on the likely changes in store.

This commentary aired on WBUR this week. Click here to listen.

Click here to download RealPlayer®.


Tonight, tell the government how to fix your health care

Members of the public are invited to share their thoughts on how to improve the nations health care system at a meeting tonight, March 22, at MED’s Bakst Auditorium from 6-9 p.m.

Responses from this national conversation on how to provide health care that works for all Americans will be brought to four congressional committees next fall.
The event will be held simultaneously at 22 colleges and universities around the country and linked by Web-cast. The goal of the event, which is free and open to the public, is to solicit broad citizen opinion about how to shape the future of the health care in the United States.

The event is sponsored nationally by the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group, a committee which was formed as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 to make recommendations to the President and U.S. Congress for consideration in hearings next year.

Debbie Socolar, project manager in health services at the School of Public Health, encourages all members of the BU community and the interested public to attend to ensure a variety of opinions are expressed.

The program will include an open community forum from 6 to 7 p.m. to hear citizen concerns and recommendations about the health care system. From 7 to 9 p.m., participants will join a Web-cast national town meeting led by a panel of experts at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Participants will be asked to give their opinions on key questions: What health care benefits should be provided? How should health care be delivered? How should health care be financed? What trade-offs are citizens willing to make to assure access to health care for all Americans? Responses will be gathered from events around the country and reported to Congress and the President.

Anyone interested in participating who cannot attend can share their thoughts through the Web site, www.citizenshealthcare.gov.