Joyce Frieden: Health Reform Consensus Seen Possible

A bipartisan approach to health reform is possible, several speakers said here Tuesday at a forum sponsored by the Galen Institute, a conservative think tank.

“The American people know there are real problems in our health sector that need to be fixed, and that really can have bipartisan solutions,” said Institute founder and president Grace-Marie Turner. Turner moderated the forum, which occurred in conjunction with the Republican National Convention.

“We really have the opportunity to start that conversation,” she said. “If we can begin a new conversation, I think we can re-set this debate.”

People from both parties can agree on some healthcare principles, said panelist Tom Price, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and Republican Congressman from Georgia. “We agree that healthcare needs to be affordable for everybody, accessible for everybody, it needs to be of the highest quality and there absolutely must be choices for patients. That’s the common ground.”

The parties also can agree that much of healthcare reform needs to be hammered out at the community level, said panelist Len Nichols, PhD, director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va.

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