Americans Speak on Health Reform: Report on Health Care Community Discussions




In December 2008, the Presidential Transition Team invited Americans to host and participate in Health Care Community Discussions to talk about how to reform health care in America. Over 9,000 Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia signed up during the holiday season to host a Health Care Community Discussion and thousands more participated in these gatherings. Friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers, representing the views of both health care patients and providers, came together in homes, offi ces, coffee shops, fire houses, universities, and community centers with a common purpose: to discuss reforming the health care system. After each Health Care Community Discussion, hosts were asked to fill out a Participant Survey and submit a group report to the Presidential Transition Teams Web site, www.change.gov (Change.gov), summarizing the groups main concerns and suggestions. Committed to bringing all Americans to the table, the Health Policy Transition Team and a group of dedicated volunteers read and analyzed, line-by-line, the 3,276 group reports submitted to Change.gov. This extensive and intense engagement of the public in policy development by the Federal government is unprecedented and historic, as is this study, which systematically analyzed the information generated by the Health Care Community Discussions.



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