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September 29, 2006

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The United States spends nearly two trillion dollars on health each year. Yet, the health care system that captures vast amounts of America’s resources, employs many of its talented citizens and promises to both promote health as well as relieve the burdens of disease is failing many Americans.

Beyond the well published numbers of uninsured, everyone in the system, from hard-working Americans and their employers, to the government agencies that strive to support them is feeling the financial pressure of rising health care costs.

Of equal significance, Americans are confronted with a system that has become disconnected from the health and protection of citizens in the event of sickness. Many people are bewildered by its complexity. As one citizen voiced to us, you cannot “navigate the health care system without luck, a relationship, money and perseverance.”

The legislation that created the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group emphasizes the need to listen to the views of everyday Americans. In previous health care reform efforts, too little has been heard from the public about several key issues. The Citizens’ Health Care Working Group did hear from the public and developed goals, values and aspirations they wish to be at the heart of the health care system’s mission. These should be considered in addressing current health care financing and delivery issues.

Through our public meetings, online surveys, and research, a panoramic picture has been sketched of the American health care experience. Mr. President, in the spirit of giving a greater voice to everyday people, we deliver the recommendations and ask for your leadership and support in making health care work for all Americans.

Respectfully Yours,

Patricia A. Maryland, Chair
Citizens’ Health Care Working Group

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