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American Heart Association Calls on Presidential Candidates to Adopt the Organization's New Principles on Healthcare Reform

Thursday, September 25, 2008 General News J E 4
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Principles Focus on Meaningful, Affordable Healthcare for all Americans



OXFORD, Miss., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Heart Association today unveiled six principles on healthcare reform as the presidential candidates begin a series of debates, the first scheduled for Friday, Sept. 26, at the University of Mississippi. With a vision of a stronger healthcare system, the association's 2008 Statement of Principles on Health Care Reform outlines critical issues that must be addressed to ensure high-quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.



"We are committed to approaching healthcare reform from the perspective of the patient," said Daniel W. Jones, M.D., Immediate Past-President of the American Heart Association and Vice Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. "The goal is to create a dialogue among our elected officials, particularly focusing on the needs of individuals who have or are at risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke."



The following principles are included in the association's statement:





The complete statement, to be published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association within the next week, will be shared with top business, government and health leaders convening for a special program on healthcare reform hosted by the American Heart Association and the University of Mississippi. The group will examine the nation's health care system during the program, "Reinventing Health Care," slated for 7 - 9 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Sept. 24 in Fulton Chapel at the University of Mississippi. A live webcast can be viewed at www.americanheart.org.



"The association strongly believes that this discussion can provide a framework that will address the challenges facing those who don't have access to quality health care," said Jones, one of the panelists for the program.



Produced by Fred Friendly Seminars of Columbia University, the program will focus on health policy reform in relation to the 2008 presidential election campaign. The panelists were carefully selected to offer a wide range of viewpoints from different perspectives and industries. Besides Dr. Jones, confirmed participants include Bill Novelli, CEO of the American Association of Retired Persons; T.R. Reid, Washington Post journalist; David Walker, president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and the former Comptroller General of the United States; Regina Herzlinger, Nancy R. McPherson professor of business administration, Harvard Business School; and Dave Ratner, small business owner; Michael Anaya, Sr., president and chairman of the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives (NFLHE) and CEO, Colorado Plains Medical Center; Regina Benjamin, MBA, MD, founder and CEO, Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic; Denise Rodgers, M.D., associate dean of Community Health, Professor of Family Medicine & Dentistry, New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Eduardo Sanchez, MD, VP and Chief Medical Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas; Gerald Shea, assistant to the President of External Affairs, AFL-CIO; Michael Tanner, senior fellow, Cato Institute; Reed Tuckson, EVP, Chief of Medical Affairs, UnitedHealth Group and moderator Arthur Miller, University Professor NYU School of Law.



An edited version will air on Louisiana Public Broadcasting and Mississippi Public Broadcasting at 9 p.m. CDT Thursday, Oct. 16, one day after the third presidential debate, which will focus on healthcare and other domestic issues. It will also air on other PBS stations across the country this fall.



Some 80 million Americans suffer from cardiovascular diseases, and lack of health insurance and quality of care pose tremendous problems for many of these people. To learn more about the American Heart Association's efforts to reform our nation's health care s
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