Sunday, February 11, 2007

GOV. SPITZER PLEDGES TO REFORM NEW YORK'S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

In Gov. Eliot Spitzer's State of the State Message, he pledged to reform the health care system to make health care affordable for each person, family, business, and for government.

He stated " Our agenda is based on a single premise: patients, not institutions, must be at the center of our health care system. That means that every decision, every initiative and every investment we make must be designed to suit the need of patients first. The result will be a high-quality health care system at a price we can all afford."

" What went wrong is that health care decision-making became co-opted by every interest other than the patient's interest. Government abdicated its responsibility to set standards, demand results and hold institutions receiving billions in state tax dollars accountable to the State and to the people those institutions serve."

" Despite leading the nation in health care spending, we are not leading the nation in results:
2.6 million New Yorkers, including 400,000 children, are uninsured.
New York has a higher percent of deaths due to chronic disease than any other state in the
nation.
New York's nursing homes rank among the nation's worst in citations for placing their
residents at immediate risk for serious injury or death.
Statewide, one in every twelve of our children is afflicted with asthma. And almost one in four
are obese."

"To meet the challenges, we need a Department of Health that is organized to implement a patient-first agenda. We have already established an Office of Health Insurance Programs to bring together all of our public insurance programs in order to coordinate, streamline and simplify these programs so they reach the maximum number of eligible people. And we will establish an Office of Long Term Care to zero in on efforts to expand options for long term care in the least restrictive, most integrated settings possible. We will continue to take these kinds of steps to remake our Department of Health into the preeminent health agency in the nation."

"I know that change, especially such fundamental change, will not be easy. But its time has come."

"I will do what the people elected me to do and fight for what I believe is right and for the good of all New Yorkers."

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