CCHC Asks Federal Group for Recommendations that Better Protect RIGHTS of Citizens & Better Reflect EXCELLENCE of American Medicine

CCHC Submits Comments on the Citizens' Health Care Working Group's Interim Recommendations to Congress

Minneapolis, Minnesota -- Citizens' Council on Health Care has submitted public comments on the Citizens' Health Care Working Group's Interim Recommendations to Congress.

Today is the last day for submission of public comments.

In a general statement made at the beginning of CCHC's public comments, Twila Brase, president of Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC), writes the following:

"While we understand that many hours went into the work of the CHCWG, we are unfortunately disappointed with the group's interim recommendations. These recommendations will not solve Medicare's unfunded liability of at least $30 trillion (GAO, 2005). Furthermore, the recommendations support expanding entitlements, increasing federal liabilities, reduced patient access to care, and new taxes. To be frank, we don't believe this is "what the doctor ordered."

We submit that the final set of recommendations should stay within the framework of constitutional rights, medical markets, and individualized patient care-the hallmarks of American medicine. We also submit that the final recommendations not include the misleading statistic (Americans get the right care only 50% of the time) or the debunked statistic (98,000 deaths/yr from medical errors) found in this document's preamble. Instead, consider including the fact that a 2000 W.H.O. report ranked the U.S. first (#1) out of 191 nations in responsiveness to patient's needs for choice of provider, dignity, autonomy, timely care and confidentiality.

The final recommendations should also more clearly state who influenced the recommendations (what % from the hearings with stakeholder and experts, what % from community meetings) and exactly how many of the nation's nearly 300 million people attended the 31 community meetings.

When Congress formed the CHCWG in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, we expect they were seeking creative solutions to turn back the looming tide of unfunded Medicare liabilities while preserving the excellence of American medicine and the constitutional rights of citizens. We hope the CHCWG's Final Recommendations will fall in line with these expectations."

The entire text of the CCHC's public comments to the Citizens' Health Care Working Group (CHCWG) can be found on the CHCWG website or on the CCHC website:



Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President and Co-founder
Office: 651-646-8935