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					                      Opinion
The status quo in health care has become unacceptable
FroM the Floors of state legisla-             that health care reform is going to                                                                                                 ments work best for which patients.
                                                                                                                    corner             Office
tures and the halls of Congress, to the       happen this year in Congress.                                                                                                             Also, to promote better and
white house cabinet room and corpo-                 what course should we follow?              Have a hard-hitting stance on a New Jersey business issue? If you are              more efficient care, the development
rate boardrooms, health care reform                 First, we need to create a stronger,      a business or policy leader with a strong opinion, we want to hear from             of performance measures and perfor-
is now squarely at the center of the          more proactive health care system.                     you. Please send op-ed proposals to editorial@njbiz.com.                     mance-based payments for providers
national domestic policy debate.              today in America, we have a “sick-                                                                                                  should be considered. Adopting well-
      Although it is unclear precisely        care” system, not a health care system.       ing cause of death and the key driver             Prescription medicines in par-      designed performance measures can
what shape it will take, it is very clear     too many times, we see patients after         of health care spending in the unit-        ticular play a critical role in man-      help ensure patients receive the right
that the status quo in health care has        they’ve been diagnosed with a chronic         ed states. In fact, 75 percent of the       aging and preventing many chronic         type of treatment and patients follow
become unacceptable and the new               or life-threatening disease. the dam-         nation’s overall health care spending       conditions. Although prescription         treatment regimens that will allow
administration in wash-                                     age has already been            goes toward caring for patients with        medicines account for only 10 cents       them to achieve desired outcomes.
ington is determined to                                     done. In effect, we’ve built    chronic diseases. studies show that         on every health care dollar, among              these are reasons why now —
seek significant change.                                    a health care system that       health care costs for people with           health care services covered by insur-    more than ever — we must tackle
      with the president’s                                  responds best to treating       a chronic disease average $6,032            ance, they get the least coverage. And    health care reform. Comprehensive
recent victory in securing                                  the disease at the point        annually — five times higher than           even among Americans with health          health care reform, done in a way
commitments from pri-                                       where medical options           healthy patients.                           insurance, 14 million still don’t get     that takes advantage of innovation,
vate industry to do their                                   are limited and the cost is          second, we need to encourage           the kind of coverage that provides        the goodwill of all stakeholders and
part to rein in the growth                                  great. that paradigm must       medical innovation in our country.          access to prescription medicine.          the crisis in our country, can address
of health care costs, the                                   shift if we are to achieve      Prescription medicines, medical                   Finally, we must do more work       the urgent need for all Americans to
question of health care                                     meaningful reform and           devices and related health care tech-       to knock down financial barriers that     have access to high-quality, afford-
reform is not an “if,” but a          Bob Franks            generate savings.               nologies are a key element in both          prohibit patients from getting the        able health coverage. u
“when.” the participa-                                             one way to do that       improving patient health and reducing       treatments they need. Cutting-edge        -----------------------------------------
tion of the private sec-                                     is by focusing on disease      the growth of overall health costs. Pre-    science is creating opportunities for     Bob Franks is a former U.S. represen-
tor — drug companies, medical device          prevention and early intervention,            serving the policies that foster innova-    the development of personalized           tative who now serves as president of
companies, insurers and hospitals —           with particular focus on chronic dis-         tion is critical as Congress works to       medicine — an approach that will          the Bridgewater-based HealthCare In-
is a game-changer. It is proof positive       ease. Chronic diseases are the lead-          improve our health care system.             help us better identify what treat-       stitute of New Jersey.



Design-build program creates jobs                         ment our capital program, accelerating proj-                  until summerfield, New Jersey school proj-        letters to the Editor
                                                          ects and creating thousands of jobs. we would           ects were delivered using traditional design-bid-         We encourage readers to write letters
Your June 15 editorial, “stubborn state slowing           advance the four projects in question under the         build methods. we performed quality assurance           concerning New Jersey business issues.
impact of stimulus,” regarding the New Jersey             traditional design-bid-build process if it meant        reviews on the completed construction docu-               Please keep letters to fewer than 400
schools development Authority pilot design-               they would happen this year. unfortunately, that        ments for numerous design-bid-build schools             words. We reserve the right to edit letters
build program, did not provide the readers an             is not the case. even with a few months’ delay,         designed under the schools Construction Corp.          and reproduce them at njbiz.com. Please
accurate assessment.                                      design-build is more expeditious.                       the coordination among the documents dis-               sign your name and include a telephone
      First, the pilot design-build program seeks               
				
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