National Academies Press: OpenBook

Insuring America's Health: Principles and Recommendations (2004)

Chapter: BOX 6.1 Vision, Principles, and Recommendations

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Suggested Citation:"BOX 6.1 Vision, Principles, and Recommendations." Institute of Medicine. 2004. Insuring America's Health: Principles and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10874.
Page 152

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BOX 6.1 Vision, Principles, and Recommendations Vision The Committee on the Consequences of Uninsurance envisions an approach to health insurance that will promote better overall health for individuals, families, communities, and the nation by providing financial access for everyone to neces- sary, appropriate, and effective health services. Principles 1. Health care coverage should be universal. 2. Health care coverage should be continuous. 3. Health care coverage should be affordable to individuals and families. 4. The health insurance strategy should be affordable and sustainable for society. 5. Health care coverage should enhance health and well-being by promoting ac- cess to high-quality care that is effective, efficient, safe, timely, patient-centered, and equitable. Recommendations The Committee recommends that these principles be used to assess the merits of current proposals and to design future strategies for extending coverage to every- one. **** The Committee recommends that the President and Congress develop a strategy to achieve universal insurance coverage and establish a firm and explicit schedule to reach this goal by 2010. **** The Committee recommends that until universal coverage takes effect, the federal and state governments provide resources sufficient for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to cover all persons currently eligible and prevent the erosion of outreach efforts, eligibility, enrollment, and coverage. 152

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According to the Census Bureau, in 2003 more than 43 million Americans lacked health insurance. Being uninsured is associated with a range of adverse health, social, and economic consequences for individuals and their families, for the health care systems in their communities, and for the nation as a whole. This report is the sixth and final report in a series by the Committee on the Consequences of Uninsurance, intended to synthesize what is known about these consequences and communicate the extent and urgency of the issue to the public. Insuring America’s Health recommends principles related to universality, continuity of coverage, affordability to individuals and society, and quality of care to guide health insurance reform. These principles are based on the evidence reviewed in the committee’s previous five reports and on new analyses of past and present federal, state, and local efforts to reduce uninsurance. The report also demonstrates how those principles can be used to assess policy options. The committee does not recommend a specific coverage strategy. Rather, it shows how various approaches could extend coverage and achieve certain of the committee’s principles.

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