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A Call to Action: Health Reform 2.0

By Ron Pollack,


Today, Families USA issues a call to action in support of Health Reform 2.0 – a series of 19 specific proposals to improve health care for everyone in our nation. In the years ahead, we will build support for those proposals to hasten their adoption.

The timing for our proposals is challenging—many of you might reasonably wonder, at a point when the Affordable Care Act faces one of its most fundamental threats, is this the time to be thinking about the future of health care? Our answer is, “yes.”

In politics, there is a saying: “There’s only pitching and catching.” Yes, the law is under attack. It has been under attack for five years. And for those five years, we and other health care advocates have been doing the catching. And we’ll continue our energetic opposition to efforts to destroy the ACA because our support for the law only grows as we witness the difference it is making in real people’s lives.

But social movements change. It’s time for us to start pitching, and that’s what Health Reform 2.0 is all about.

The pursuit of high-quality, affordable health coverage and care for everyone did not start— nor does it end—with the ACA. In the movement for meaningful health reform, there is no such thing as a final victory or a final defeat. The work must go on.

The proposals in Health Reform 2.0 have four specific goals:

  • securing health coverage for all
  • ensuring that health coverage means access to needed care
  • transforming our health care system to provide care that is appropriate, highest in quality, equitable, and patient-centered
  • reducing health care costs and making care more affordable

Integral to these goals is the achievement of true health equity. Our call to action seeks to rouse other advocates to join us in working for the provision of language-accessible, culturally-competent care throughout the health care system and for the elimination of the disparities in health care that plague our most vulnerable communities.

The proposals range from measures that improve coverage and extend care, such as making dental coverage universally available, ensuring the availability of low-deductible plans, and fixing the ACA’s “family glitch,” to measures that promote greater health care value, such as hastening the demise of fee-for-service care, enabling public payers to set prescription drug prices, and stopping uncompetitive provider consolidations.

The time is right to promote this forward-looking agenda. Since meaningful social change does not occur overnight and is never easy, we must lay the groundwork now for the essential goals that lie ahead. It is in this spirit that we offer our call to action, Health Reform 2.0.