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AJCONGRESS URGES CONGRESS TO ENACT COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE REFORM BEFORE ADJOURNING

 AJCONGRESS URGES CONGRESS TO ENACT COMPREHENSIVE
 HEALTH CARE REFORM BEFORE ADJOURNING
 NEW YORK, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- With Congress planning to adjourn in early October, AJCongress President Robert K. Lifton has urged members of Congress to make "enactment of a comprehensive national health insurance program" "a major focus of |its~ work in the remaining weeks of the 102nd Congress." In a letter to Congressional leaders, Lifton asserted that comprehensive reform "would represent an enormous improvement for the health care received by tens of millions of Americans."
 The AJCongress leader concluded by noting that "in a year in which there has been much talk of family values, there can be no more pro- family action that the U.S. Congress can take than" passing major health care reform legislation.
 The full text of Lifton's letter follows:
 "As an organization that has long been supportive of the enactment of national health insurance, AJCongress is pleased that health care reform proposals are receiving considerable public attention. The last few years have produced a consensus that, while American innovations in medical technology and research have produced enormous successes, numerous problems remain including the containment of excessive costs and the lack of or inadequate health insurance coverage possessed by nearly forty million people.
 "Despite this widespread recognition of existing problems, and the introduction of dozens of proposals to address them, the U.S. Congress has been unable thus far to adopt a comprehensive national health insurance program. While we realize that but limited time is left for this Congress to enact major health care legislation, we urge that this become a major focus of your work in the remaining weeks of the 102nd Congress.
 "AJCongress believes that national health insurance legislation must provide for an integrated health care system that offers services to meet the range of needs in the population. Among the key features of such a program are universal coverage, a cost-containment mechanism, and funding by general tax revenues. Moreover, it should provide benefits for mental health, long-term and hospice care. It should also include a vehicle to consider patients' grievances, resolve disputes about the medical necessity of prescribed care and prevent fraud and abuse by providers.
 "The enactment of such a comprehensive proposal would represent an enormous improvement for the health care received by tens of millions of Americans. At the same time, we recognize that many illnesses result from such lifestyle habits as improper diets, lack of exercise, smoking and substance abuse. In order to have an impact on these problems, people must be encouraged to participate in educational programs that will make them better able to reach informed decisions with respect to their health care needs and those of their families.
 "In a year in which there has been much talk of family values, there can be no more pro-family action that the U.S. Congress can take than the enactment of a comprehensive national health insurance program.
 "We look forward to working with you to achieve this goal."
 -0- 9/21/92
 /CONTACT: Mark Pelavin, 202-332-4001, or Craig Sumberg, 212-879-4500, both for the AJCongress/ CO: American Jewish Congress ST: New York IN: HEA SU:


TM -- NY088 -- 1839 09/21/92 16:29 EDT
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Date:Sep 21, 1992
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