Thursday, December 18, 2008

Take the Lead on Health Care Reform

Many MS activists around the country are heeding the call of Senator Tom Daschle and President-elect Barack Obama to actively participate in national health care reform. Some groups are meeting in offices for a brown bag lunch, while others are having small dinner parties to discuss this important issue. This is a great opportunity to be creative and make an impact on how the new Congress and Administration will approach national health care reform.

Share your ideas or the results of your own discussion sessions by commenting here on the MS activist blog.

For more information or to download a Moderator or Participant Guide, visit

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Be a Part of Health Care Reform

As the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress prepare to convene, we have an early opportunity to make an impact on the discussion around comprehensive health care reform. President-elect Barack Obama recently sent out a call to action for all Americans. The incoming Administration wants you to engage your family and friends in a dialogue about comprehensive health care reform.

You are encouraged to hold these sessions between December 15-31. This is an important opportunity for MS Activists to participate in the national health care reform debate. If you are interested in setting up a health care reform discussion at your home or with a group you meet with regularly click here for more information.

Some key questions to spur your discussion on health care reform could include:

  • What does comprehensive health care reform mean to you?
  • What concerns you the most about your current health care situation?
  • What concerns you the most as you think about your health care needs in the future?
  • What are the most important health care issues facing people with MS and other chronic diseases?
  • How do disparities in the provision of health care impact people who are most vulnerable?
  • How can a focus on delivering quality health care lead to cost savings in the long-term?
  • How can increased consumer involvement in health care decisions change the way health care is delivered and the degree of satisfaction with the process by the people most affected-patients?

We encourage you to refer to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Health Care Reform Principles as a tool to help guide your discussions. You may choose to share these with others who are engaged in this discussion. The Society's Principles support:

  • Accessible health care coverage.
  • Affordable health care services and coverage.
  • Standards for coverage of specific treatments.
  • Elimination of disparities in care.
  • Comprehensive, quality health care available to all.
  • Increased value of health care.
  • Access to high-quality, long-term supports and services.

For those who would like to refer to a glossary of health care related terms that appear in the principles and which you may hear during the course of this discussion, please click here.

If you are not interested in hosting a health care discussion, but you would like to submit individual comments to the Obama transition team instead, you may click here to submit your own ideas about comprehensive health care reform.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In the News: Obama Asks Nation for Input On Reforming Health System

In between the tree trimming and gift-giving, President-elect Barack Obama is inviting Americans to spend part of the holiday season talking about health care -- and report back to him.

As he gears up for major health reform legislation next year, Obama is encouraging average Americans to host informal gatherings to brainstorm about how to improve the U.S. system.

The sessions, which could take place at a party, over a Menorah-lighting or at the annual Christmas cookie bake-off, are to be held Dec. 15 to Dec. 31. Former senator Thomas A. Daschle, Obama's point person on health, will attend at least one and prepare a detailed report, complete with video, to present to the next president.

"In order for us to reform our health care system, we must first begin reforming how government communicates with the American people," Obama said in a statement yesterday. "These Health Care Community Discussions are a great way for the American people to have a direct say in our health reform efforts."

This is an excerpt from a December 6 article in the Washington Post by Ceci Connolly. Click here to read the full story.