Our nation's health system is in crisis. Forty-six million Americans are uninsured and millions more are paying more than they can afford for health insurance that does not satisfy their health and financial needs. U.S. businesses are losing ground to their foreign competitors and rising health care costs are placing increasing strain on federal, state, and local governments in the midst of rising economic uncertainty. At the same time, the American health system is fraught with errors and uncoordinated medical care.
Some say that now is not the right time to reform our health care system because of the worldwide economic downturn. No statement could be more wrong. Our social and economic futures depend upon creating a sustainable health care system. To postpone health care reform would be unwise. Our system cannot be transformed overnight. But to achieve success we must begin to invest in a quality, 21st century health system today.
America can do better. Comprehensive health reform that ensures all Americans have quality, affordable health coverage, controls health care spending over time, and improves the quality of patient care is a moral and economic imperative. A sustainable system of coverage that includes every American will make our health system work better for us all.