NEJM Perspective Pieces Examine Physician Involvement in Health Reform, Congressional Progress on Reform
- "Achieving Health Care Reform -- How Physicians Can Help," New England Journal of Medicine: In a perspective piece, Elliott Fisher, a professor of medicine and of community and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and associate director for Population Health and Policy at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice; Donald Berwick, a professor at the Harvard University School of Public Health Department of Health Policy and Management and president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement; and Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, call on physicians to "lead the change our country needs" on health reform. They suggest several areas for physicians to become involved, saying that physicians should "first help to create a shared vision that could overcome doctrinal divides" and that they also must "recognize that achieving savings sufficient to cover the cost of expanded coverage need not impose a hardship on patients or providers." Finally, physicians also must help with a health reform deal that "all stakeholders can support," the authors say (Fisher et al., NEJM, 5/21).
- "Congressional Action on Health Care Reform," NEJM: John Iglehart, national correspondent for NEJM, reviews recent congressional action on health reform. He notes that House lawmakers have pledged to pass a reform measure by July 31, which is similar to a Senate timeline for reform. He discusses provisions that are expected in reform plans being crafted by three House panels and two Senate committees. He also notes that "finding the money to finance reform is the most formidable hurdle facing Democrats," adding, the "GOP will undoubtedly attack [Democrats] for adding untold billions to the mounting federal deficit and leading down a road to socialism" (Iglehart, NEJM, 5/21).
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