Health Care Reform: What’s Next for Funders?


First, you have no idea how long it took me to find a Creative Commons health care photo on Flickr that wasn’t too politically charged.

Last night, the House passed a historic health care bill with sweeping reforms that will in many ways change relationships between patients, doctors, insurance companies, and hospitals. Clearly, the question on everyone’s mind is what will philanthropy do about it?

Under the new system, community health centers will become increasingly important as 32 million Americans who do not currently have insurance transition from emergency room care to primary care physicians and clinic care. Funders can help beef up the available resources and help ensure that centers are run efficiently.

On another front, electronic medical records will undoubtedly be  big business, but there are a lot of technical details to be ironed out. Once again, philanthropy can lead the way, supporting new ideas, absorbing risk, and making sure that the best, most secure systems are developed.

The passage of the health care reform bill is just the beginning. Now the work to improve America’s health and health care truly begins. Philanthropy will no doubt play a large part in how these changes are implemented.

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