November-December 1992 Home   Newsletters

January 1993

February 1993

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Certificate Honoring and Commending the LWV-Hawaii
Health Care Consensus
Health Care - Position Statement of the LWVUS
Health Care: Phase 2 Consensus Questions
People's Water Conference Focus
Vote Counts
Year in Planning, Zoning and Transit (Astrid Monson)
Health Care - Summary of Proposed Reforms
Comparison of International Health Care Systems

Health Care - Position Statement of the LWVUS

Announced by the national board April 1992

Goals: The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that a minimum basic level of quality health care at an affordable cost should be available to all U.S. residents. Other U.S. health care policy goals should include the equitable distribution of services, efficient and economical delivery of care, advancement of medical research and technology and a reasonable total national expenditure level for health care.

Minimum Basic Level of Quality Care: Every U.S. resident should have access to a minimum basic level of care that includes the prevention of disease, health promotion and education, primary care (including prenatal and reproductive health), acute care, long-term care and mental health care. Dental, vision and hearing care also are important but lower in priority.

Equity Issues: The League believes that health care services could be more equitably distributed by:

  • allocating medical resources to underserved areas,

  • providing for training health care professionals in needed fields of care,

  • standardizing basic levels of service for publicly funded health care programs,

  • requiring insurance plans to use community rating instead of experience rating,

  • establishing insurance pools for small businesses and organizations.
Cost Control: The League believes that efficient and economical delivery of care can be enhanced by such cost control methods as:

  • the reduction of administrative costs,

  • regional planning for the allocation of personnel, facilities and equipment,

  • the establishment of maximum levels of public reimbursement to providers,

  • malpractice reform,

  • the use of managed care,

  • utilization reviews of treatment,

  • mandatory second opinions before surgery or extensive treatment,

  • consumer accountability through deductibles and copayments.

Allocation of Resources to Individuals: The League believes that the ability of a patient to pay for services should not be a consideration in the allocation of health care resources. Limited resources should be allocated based on the following criteria considered together: the urgency of the medical condition, the life expectancy of the patient, the expected outcome of the treatment, the cost of the procedure, the duration of care, the quality of life of the patient after treatment, and the wishes of the patient and the family.

This position is based on Phase 1 of the League's study of the U.S. health care system. Phase 2 of the health care study, which will conclude in April 1993, will address issues of financing and administration.

November-December 1992 Home   Newsletters February 1993