(KCPW News) The Utah Health Policy Project and the Association for Utah Community Health are sponsoring a statewide discussion on health reform this afternoon, after requests from President-elect Barack Obama's transition team for grassroots input. Community Health Associate Director Alan Pruhs commends the new administration for seeking input from everyday Americans.
"I think it's a unique situation where we have a president-elect, and his transition team reaching out to the American people and saying we want to hear from you. Now whether that truly gets heard or not, time will tell, so I'd like to remain upbeat and believe that change will happen and that American's voice will be heard, and that they will take the lead from the people in the U.S," Pruhs said.
Obama's transition team has put together a list of questions that will be asked at the meeting, as well as a survey for people to fill out. These questions include topics like access, sources of care, primary coverage, and prevention. Pruhs says health care reform is a jigsaw puzzle that shouldn't just be solved by politicians.
"These discussions may solve a piece to the puzzle and that piece may be just asking the average American person who doesn't spend 40 hours or 40 plus hours a week studying health policy. We are just asking the average American, what do you perceive to be as the problem? So they may just get every basic simple answers and it will be up to policy makers to implement those answers into policy and into reform," Pruhs said.
The discussions will be held at six different sites throughout the state, and will be linked by satellite. A report will then be submitted to Obama's administration. For a list of discussion sites call The Utah Health Policy Project at 433-2298.