In 2005, Congress created the Citizens' Health Care Working Group to ask people what health care in America should look like. AmericaSpeaks dialogues in 31 cities across the country revealed that Mainers are mainstream—there's wide recognition that the system's broken and overwhelming demand for universal health care. Here are voices from those meetings.
"Every citizen has a basic right to have basic health care, and it can't be based on the type of job they have." —Salt Lake City
"We have rural areas here in Indiana where you can't even get a paramedic." —Indianapolis
"Cost is keeping people from getting the care." —Phoenix "
"We want health care delivered equitably at the community level by people we trust." —Memphis
"It's often more stressful to deal with the insurance company than it is to deal with the disease." —Des Moines"
"We have lost time-intensive care. Providers right now don't have time to spend with us! You only get two minutes with your doctor." — Indianapolis
"You can't get through this system without luck, a relationship, money, and perseverance." —Salt Lake City
"There should be no waiting period before becoming eligible for coverage." —Lexington
"I feel like we are only as good as our weakest link, and so many
people can't afford care." —Fargo
"[We need] culturally competent care and funding to encourage more minority physicians and providers." —Indianapolis
"Enrolling everyone in a single pool would spread costs and yield savings."—Providence
"There should be progressive rates for health care, based on ability to pay, through income taxes as part of a single-payer system." —Hartford
"Employer-sponsored insurance worked when it was a perk, an extra offered by employers. But now coverage is a necessity, not a privilege." —Billings
"Eliminate medical middlemen—insurance companies and direct-to-consumer advertising by pharmaceutical companies in exchange for universal health care." —Hartford
The Citizen's Health Care Working Group compiled the opinions voiced, and published six Final Recommendations that were submitted to Congress and the President on September 29, 2006. Americans overwhelmingly agree that the entire health care system needs to be addressed as well as specific attention payed to cost, quality and access. Americans believe that access to affordable health care for all should be a public policy priority. For a list of the final recommendations visit the Citizen's Health Care Working Group website.