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Health care coalition gets $4 million in grants to educate public

From the January 1997ACP Observer, copyright © 1997 by the American College of Physicians.

By Elizabeth Prewitt

The National Leadership Coalition on Health Care has received $4 million in grants to educate the public about the rapidly changing health care system.

The College has been an active member of the bipartisan coalition, the nation's largest alliance of organizations working for health care change, from its inception. ACP President Christine K. Cassel, FACP, was recently named to the coalition's Board.

The largest of the new grants, $3.5 million from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will support a multi-year education campaign on cost, quality and access problems in our health care system, as well as changes needed to address them. The campaign will examine national trends in health care and convey this information to the public; the goal is to foster an informed public discussion on the future of health care and its impact on society. The coalition will hold a series of symposia at the nation's presidential libraries that will examine the policy options available to the administration and Congress.

A grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will support the continuation of a series of educational seminars for business leaders to explore the changing health care system and responses by businesses around the country. The seminars will be held in Miami, Houston, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Philadelphia.

The third grant, awarded by the Kaiser Family Foundation, will fund a study exploring the impact of rising health care costs on employers and the American family. The coalition is already analyzing out-of-pocket health care expenses and has sponsored other research on health care costs, including a major study of the impact of proposals by the last Congress to reduce Medicare and Medicaid spending.

The National Leadership Coalition is made up of nearly 90 organizations representing business, labor, providers and religious organizations. Its guiding principles are securing universal coverage, containing health care costs and eliminating cost shifting and improving quality of care. The coalition's honorary co-chairs are former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald R. Ford. Its president is Henry E. Simmons, MD, an internist and former ACP Governor.

For more information about any of the National Leadership Coalition's programs, call 202-637-6830.

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