New Dem of the Week: Sheldon Whitehouse

Soaring costs are pushing health care beyond the reach of many ordinary Americans. The typical family health insurance policy now costs more than a worker’s entire annual earnings at minimum wage, while as much as 30 percent of health care is wasted on unnecessary, duplicative, or dubious procedures. The problems of cost, quality, and access are interrelated, and Congress needs to address them simultaneously. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) is leading the charge for reform by proposing new ways to lower health care costs, improve quality, and increase access to care. He has introduced three bills to address gut-wrenching, health care problems. These bills would help hold down costs regardless of the path the country takes in expanding health care coverage.

Sen. Whitehouse also points to the importance of making health care more efficient. Given the slow pace of health IT adoption, however, Sen. Whitehouse’s National Health Information Technology and Privacy Advancement Act of 2007 (S. 1455) calls for a federal public-private partnership to finance health IT and protect patient privacy. The model he suggests is the successful COMSAT effort to launch telecommunications satellites in the 1960′s. COMSAT consolidated the interests of telecommunication companies that couldn’t afford to launch a satellite on their own. Similarly, a public-private partnership for health IT could overcome the financing gap between the doctors who have to pay for it and the health plans and patients who will benefit from lower costs. It would also make patient privacy a key feature of the new system.

{Senator Whitehouse is very interested in healthcare and technology and has introduced three bills. His National Health Information Technology and Privacy Advancement Act of 2007 (S. 1455) calls for a federal public-private partnership to finance health IT and protect patient privacy. ~ Dr. Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>