Campaign Puts Health Care Reform in Perspective

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Health Forward Foundation (Health Forward) today launched a website to provide information about the new health care reform law as part of a campaign to help residents of the region better understand upcoming changes in health care and health insurance.

Over the past year, proposed health care reform has been a topic of great debate, even after Congress passed legislation in March. The website, as part of the Health Care Foundation’s “Reform Reality” campaign, is designed to provide information to area residents based upon their state of health coverage and to inform the public when various changes will take effect. Information on the website,, includes areas of specific concern, such as Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

“Many area residents are confused and unsure about what the legislation means to them,” said Health Forward President/CEO Steve Roling. “We want to provide resources for residents to understand what developing the health care system means to them.”

During the past two years, 40,000 families in metropolitan Kansas City have lost their health care coverage through the loss of jobs, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Health Forward’s position is that Americans need a solid system to ensure that those families are not at risk.

The current health care system isn’t a functioning system, Roling says. Rather, it’s a conglomeration of policies and business practices. Though many details and regulations are still being developed, the legislation is a first step in developing a functioning system that can benefit the entire community. The system will require ongoing responsible management, one step at a time.

Nationally, more than two-thirds of bankruptcies are due to illness or medical bills. Responsibly managing a health care system will help ensure that families receive the right care at the right place at the right time.

“Current health care is burdening the fabric of our families when it forces them to lose the personal wealth they’ve built over a lifetime,” Roling said. “It effectively puts them on the sidelines as a productive member of the community.”

The website also helps families understand how health care reform will impact area residents with pre-existing conditions, and how coverage will change for children on their parents’ health insurance plans. Under the new legislation, grown children can stay on their parents’ plans up to age 26.

“Providing coverage to people with pre-existing conditions provides them the freedom to change jobs and increase their chances of professionally being fulfilled by not remaining in a job because a pre-existing condition is covered by their current plan,” Roling said. “Parents won’t have to worry that their children will start their careers in this challenging job market and not be insured.”