NCHC Writers
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As a sign of growing support for comprehensive health system reform, seven major organizations have joined the National Coalition on Health Care in its efforts to assure high quality, affordable, and cost effective health care to all Americans.

Four of the new members are directly involved in the delivery of health care: Kaiser Permanente is the nation’s largest HMO, whose 10,000 physicians provide health care to 8.6 million members in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The Catholic Health Association of the United States is the national leadership organization representing the Catholic health ministry whose more than 2,000 members form the nation’s largest group of not-for-profit healthcare sponsors, systems, facilities, health plans, and related organizations. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is one of the country’s largest medical specialty societies with a membership of nearly 40,000 physicians specializing in obstetric-gynecological care. The Alliance of Community Health Plans includes 26 leading not-for-profit and provider-based health plans serving over seven million Americans in 26 states and the District of Columbia.

The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society joins the Coalition’s other major religious organization members. These include the United States Catholic Conference, The National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Episcopal Church, and the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

Two corporate giants in the telecommunications field, Nortel Networks and US WEST, are among the new members. Nortel, with 76,000 employees, and US WEST with nearly 55,000 employees, are among the largest telecommunications firms in the world.

In addition to organization members, the Coalition has a number of prominent individual supporters. Dr. John H. McArthur, former Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, has joined as an individual supporter and as a member of the Coalition’s board.

In announcing the new members, the Coalitions Co-Chairs, former governor Robert D. Ray (R-IA) and former Congressman Paul Rogers (D-FL) said, “The Coalition is extremely fortunate to have such important and influential additions to its membership. These new members, representing providers of health care and large numbers of congregants and employees who are health care consumers, can contribute immensely to the continuing success of the Coalition in educating the public about the serious problems in our health care system and in bringing about the comprehensive reforms necessary to solve those problems.”

“Dr. McArthur is an internationally recognized expert in business development and management and has held numerous corporate directorships and consulting posts in business, government, education and health care organizations around the world. His support of the Coalition’s efforts brings additional corporate and business expertise to bear as we deal with major changes in our health care system,” they added.

“Major groups from important sectors in our society – employers, providers and religious organizations – have joined their counterparts in our Coalition, indicating their recognition that the time is right for a refocusing of the nation’s attention on the serious issues facing our health care system,” said Henry E. Simmons, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., president of the Coalition.

NCHC is the nation’s largest and most broadly represented alliance working to bring about greater public understanding of the problems in our health care system and the reform which will be necessary to address them. The Coalition’s 90 members include large and small businesses, the nation’s major labor unions, consumer and religious groups, and all it’s primary care provider organizations. The Coalition is rigorously non-partisan and is committed to the achievement of five basic principles in our health care system: health insurance for all, improved quality of care, cost containment, equitable financing and simplified administration. Its Honorary Co-Chairs are former Presidents George Bush, Gerald R. Ford, and Jimmy Carter.

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NOTE: Attached are listings of the Coalition’s members and individual supporters.

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