Collaborate: The Power of Network
The Candidates' Consensus: Reform Must Accompany Access
Early 2007: the presidential race begins in earnest. The playing field is full of presidential hopefuls debating critical issues, including health care. But their rhetoric is focused on covering the uninsured -- how to bring more people in to the broken system, with discussion of how to improve the system itself glaringly absent.
NEHI had long believed that universal health care access was necessary but insufficient to achieving true health care reform, which we advocated would also require change in three core areas: prevention, chronic disease management and primary care. Election season offered an ideal opportunity to turn the attention of a captive national audience to these broader NEHI issues. As a convener of the diverse perspectives from the health care community, NEHI could redirect the spotlight from simply expanding coverage to addressing the systemic shortfalls of the nation's health care system.
We convened a cross-cutting team of health care leaders to develop a joint policy statement. The group was diverse, but NEHI quickly found and forged common ground: Health reform should focus on three key areas -- disease prevention, chronic care management and strengthening primary care. Our Rx for Health Reform was created, recommending a series of policy changes we came to call "The NEHI Nine."