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Coping With the Cost of Health Care: How Do We Pay for What We Need? (NIF Issue Guide)

One of the National Issues Forums Institute’s issue guides, Coping With the Cost of Health Care: How Do We Pay for What We Need? outlines this public issue and several choices or approaches to addressing the issue. National Issues Forums do not advocate a specific solution or point of view, but provide citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those options, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common.

Nearly three out of four Americans today worry that their income will not keep up with rising prices…These worries outstrip anxieties about losing a job, terrorist attacks, crime, and losing savings in the stock market. The questions we must address are: How can we get the health care we require, in the face of rising costs? How can we pay for what we need?

This issue framing presents three approaches for deliberation:

Approach #1: Reduce the Threat of Financial Ruin
Proponents of this approach say we need to make health insurance that covers major medical expenses available to everyone.

Approach #2: Restrain Out-of-Control Costs
Health-care costs are too high for too many people. This approach holds that they should be reduced directly through price controls and other means.

Approach #3: Provide Coverage as a Right
Proponents of this approach say that health care coverage is something every citizen is entitled to.

Read the report on this forum.

More about NIF issue guides…

NIFI’s issue guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. By intention, issue guides do not identify individuals or organizations with partisan labels, such as Democratic, Republican, conservative, or liberal. The goal is to present ideas in a fresh way that encourages readers to judge them on their merit.

NIFI offers various materials for each of the issues it produces issue guides on. The moderator guide or “guide to the forums” for each issue is available as a free download. Discussion guides (or “issue guides”) for participants are generally available in print or PDF download for a small fee ($2 to $4). DVD’s can also be purchased for some issues for just $6, for use at the beginning of your forums to introduce the topic and approaches.

All NIF issue guides and associated tools can be accessed at www.nifi.org/issue_books/.

Resource Link: www.nifi.org/issue_books/detail.aspx?catID=12&itemID=11480

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