Thursday, January 24, 2008

Opening Plenary: Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened her address by stating that there are "millions of health providers across America and they are called mom, dad and family". Pelosi added that this is where our focus has to be, with the family. Pelosi spoke to the right that every American has to quality and affordable health care. "The health of our citizens is a measure of our strength as a nation".

On the topic of universal access to health care, Speaker Pelosi presented the audience with the questions she has been asking advocates and professionals in the health care arena. The question is when talking about universal health care we want to have universal access to what? What should this health care look like?

Here is what Speaker Pelosi thinks it must include:
-a strong commitment to bio-medical research
-common record of health care for the nation utilizing technology while preserving patient confidentiality
-eliminating the disparities in health care from the standpoint that good health in the populace is important to all of us
-work force development in the health care profession
-personalizing medical treatments to the need of the consumer
-investing in research
-provide incentives such as loan forgiveness to doctors who are willing practice in low income/rural areas
-a strong focus on prevention of chronic disabilities/diseases.

And here is one more comment from Speaker Pelosi on SCHIP. "The fight is not over, we will not give up until every eligible child is insured by SCHIP".

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