90th Arizona Town Hall
Health Care in Arizona: Accessibility, Affordability and Accountability
April 15 - 18, 2007

In what the Arizona Republic described as, "one of the more interesting and surprising sessions in its five-decade history," the 90th Arizona Town Hall tackled a topic that will be at the crux of election issues for the next two years and one that challenges the best of the experts as well every citizen in finding solutions that will retain and even improve quality while making service more affordable and accessible to everyone throughout the state-health care. In Arizona, as throughout the country, fundamental systemic improvement will require moving from vested interests to community interest by the many participants who make up the current system. Following are just a few of the action plans and major areas for improvement that the participants in the 90th Arizona Town Hall identified.

  • Create an alternative insurance coverage plan to offer a basic package of defined benefits, funded by diverse and integrated funding sources, based on the ability to pay and available to all.
  • Expand health care coverage by: 1) Greater outreach to increase enrollment in existing programs; 2) Building upon the existing employer-based coverage; and 3) Making small group and individual insurance more available and affordable.
  • Make behavioral health care ("behavioral health" includes mental health) a priority by coordinating it with physical health care for treatment and parity for coverage purposes.
  • Inform health care consumers, at the point of service, about the real costs of care and options for decision-making.
  • Develop methods, through public and private providers, to encourage preventive care instead of emergency care.
  • The participants at this Town Hall agreed that everyone in Arizona should have access to a basic fundamental level of health careā€¦. To accomplish the goal of access for all Arizonans, there must be a coordinated effort among state, local and federal agencies, nonprofits and the private sector.
  • If a basic health care plan for Arizona is considered, it should be developed based on input from across the state and with an eye toward the negative social effects that result from the lack of insurance. Some suggested that Arizona's Governor should appoint a blue ribbon panel or a task force to evaluate and determine a basic benefit plan, including input from stakeholders around the state. This plan could then be presented to the Legislature.
  • Encouraging personal accountability for maintaining good health can be accomplished by focusing on three issues: 1) education; 2) motivation; and 3) access to preventive care.

90th Town Hall Document Downloads

  • Click here to download report details
  • Statewide discussions provide further insight on how to improve health care in Arizona. The following link shows consensus statements from around the state.
  • One of the recommendations of the 90th Town Hall is to expand outreach to children eligible for the KidsCare health insurance program. St. Luke's Health Initiatives, one of the sponsors of the 90th Town Hall, has produced a condensed overview of strategies that work to ensure that children get the care they need and deserve. Visit www.slhi.org/publications/studies_research to download "Children's Health Insurance Outreach: What Works?"
  • Consensus Statements from Post-Town Hall Community Outreach Programs for the 90th Town Hall.

News from the 90th Town Hall

  • 12/31/10 Letter to the Editor from Dr. Leonard Kirschner, President, AARP Arizona "Town Hall report offers basis for health care debate"
  • Round table examines Arizona health care
  • Photos from the Mesa/East Valley Post Town Hall program held at
    Mesa Community College on September 19, 2007.
  • Table Set for Health Debate published on April 27, 2007
    The Arizona Republic Editorial: "Arizona Town Hall just shifted the debate on health care in Arizona..."
  • Universal health care gains support published on April 22, 2007
    Tribune: East Valley/Scottsdale by Mary Reinhart: "The call for universal health care in Arizona has gone mainstream."
  • Health care reform argued at Town Hall published on April 19, 2007
    The Arizona Republic by Ken Alltucker: "All Arizonans should have access to health care and private insurers should be required to provide coverage to even the highest-risk groups of patients, a panel of community leaders recommended Wednesday."
  • Better health care focus of Town Hall published on August 31, 2007
    Sierra Vista Herald/Review by Dana Cole: "The need for health care reform to ensure a basic level of care for everyone in Arizona is one of the most pressing issues facing our state."
  • Sicko--A diagnosis in 5 parts
    Is "Sicko," Michael Moore's diagnosis of our nation's health care system, an accurate documentary or pure propaganda? The Arizona Republic asked six health care officials and other professionals to watch the movie and then give their opinion via five questions. Review their interesting commentary.
  • Insurance for All published on May 17, 2007
    Tucson Weekly by Saxon Burns: "Two groups attempt to take health-care plans to Arizona voters"
  • Current health system wasteful, cruel published on May 8, 2007
    The Arizona Republic commentary by Representative Phil Lopes: "I welcome the Arizona Town Hall's conclusion that the best way to fix our broken health care system is through 'universal coverage.'"
  • Federally insuring more kids is what state wants published on August 5, 2007
    The Arizona Republic: "Some portray efforts by Democrats in Congress to expand the federal health-insurance program for children as a vast liberal conspiracy. A Wall Street Journal editorial called it 'HillaryCare on the installment plan.'"
  • Expand on success published on August 14, 2007
    The Arizona Republic: "Congress should remember three things as it reconciles different approaches to reauthorizing the federal State Children's Health Insurance Program."
  • Untapped Medicare benefits published on August 21, 2007
    The Arizona Republic: "Preventive services, tests abound--are you taking full advantage? Only about one in 10 Medicare beneficiaries takes advantage of the full slate of Medicare-covered preventive services that could help them avoid or delay disease."
  • "UA research viewed as good start on health care issues" published on April 15, 2007

 

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