NCHC Writer
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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, October 9, 1996

Peggy Rhoades
(202) 637-6830Bi-Partisan Coalition Receives 4 Million Dollars
to Launch a Major National Education Effort

Washington, D.C. The nation’s largest health care coalition, the National Leadership Coalition on Health Care, has received three major grants from the Kellogg, Johnson, and Kaiser Foundations to educate the public and its members on the rapidly changing and increasingly complex health care system. The $4 million in grants will enable the Coalition to return health care to the center of the nation’s domestic policy agenda and help create a movement to cause needed improvements in the health care system.

The largest grant to the Coalition, $3.5 million, from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will underwrite a multi-year education campaign on the major and growing cost, quality, and access problems in our health care system and what changes will be necessary to address them. According to the Coalition Co-Chair, former Democratic Congressman Paul Rogers, “This is an extraordinary opportunity for the Coalition to examine national trends in health care and convey this information to the public, raising the level of awareness and enabling people to hold an informed discussion on the future of health care and its impact on society.”

The grant includes a series of symposia at six presidential libraries around the country which will examine the policy options available to the next administration and Congress. Each program will explore the health system problems recent Presidents encountered while in office, highlighting the barriers to necessary health system changes which each administration faced and its attempts to overcome those barriers. Three former Presidents, senior officials in past administrations, presidential scholars, and journalists will take part in the symposia.

For a second year, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is funding a series of educational seminars for business leaders to explore the changing health care system and the range of responses to those changes. The seminars will be held in Miami, Houston, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. According to Coalition President, Dr. Henry Simmons, “The renewed grant confirms the Coalition’s success in conducting these seminars and providing a place for an informed dialogue that spans the national, regional, and local levels of health care and focuses on businesses’ response in a period of rapid change.” Last year’s symposia were held at the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta, and in Los Angeles, New York, Boston, and Chicago; more than 1000 business leaders participated.

The Coalition’s third grant, awarded by the Kaiser Family Foundation, will fund a study explaining the impact of rising health care costs on employers and the American family. According to Coalition Co-chair, former Republican Governor Robert Ray, “The new study will ‘get behind the numbers’ to find out what is really happening in health care spending and how this is affecting employers of different sizes, the individuals who work for them and, ultimately, the families they’re trying to support.” Results of this study will be released this fall. In addition, support under this grant will be used to enhance our efforts to educate business leaders, their employees, and others, about the issues in health care today.

The National Leadership Coalition is the nation’s largest alliance of organizations working for health care change, with nearly 90 organizations as members, employing or representing approximately 100 million Americans in large and small businesses, major labor unions, the nation’s largest religious groups, consumer organizations, and all of the nation’s primary care providers. The Coalition’s honorary Co-Chairs are former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald R. Ford.

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