Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Asa Hutchinson, Health Care, Part I

Asa released this today.
He has proposed three key approaches to addressing health care needs within Arkansas: Reducing costs, improving accessibility and delivery and driving innovation through technology and reform.
Reducing Health Care Costs
A) Promote personal responsibility in health care. Hutchinson proposed a pilot voluntary Medicaid program aimed at encouraging enrollees to take personal responsibility for their health in exchange for enhanced benefits

I think this is a really great idea. I love it! A lot of the health care problems Arkansans are paying for are preventable with early screening, treatment and a health program. It's much cheaper to get a patient on a health and maintenance program rather than dealing with an advance and chronic problem. Health problems like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, chronic lung diseases and lung/breast cancer, can either be prevented or caught early.
B) Focusing on a reduction in the use of and improvement in the treatment of the state's methamphetamine problem. .... aggressive effort to fight meth and other dangerous drugs

Hopefully alcohol abuse would be consider one of the other dangerous drugs.
C) Create an office of Arkansas Surgeon General

Interesting idea! I suppose if you set up these programs you would need some one to oversee it.
D) Create a "Governor's Council on Affordable Health Care" The Council would be charged with developing a strategic plan to lower health care costs in Arkansas,

If Asa hopes to get his programs to succeed he needs the healthcare community to get on-board. Just a word of caution, make sure that the needs of Arkansans are addressed not some special interest groups.

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