AHA Health for Life Inititative
Health for Life is the product of more than two years of discussions with individuals and organizations in and outside of healthcare. In addition to their own 5,000 member hospitals in rural, suburban, and urban communities, AHA leaders listened to community and faith-based leaders, elected officials and policymakers at every level, consumer and health advocacy groups, educators, the business community, and many others.
Health for Life identifies five essential elements of reform upon which we must build if our nation wants to achieve better health and better healthcare.
A Focus on Wellness - Some but not all illness is preventable. Good primary care, health education and a healthy lifestyle are essential to improving individual and community health status. As health improves, costs of health insurance and health care can be better controlled.
The Most Efficient, Affordable Care - Americans will not be satisfied unless and until the cost of insurance and the cost of health care are affordable.
The Highest Quality Care - Motivate doctors, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes, and others to work together and team up with patients and families to make sure the right care is given at the right time and in the right setting.
The Best Information - Good information is the gateway to good care.
Health Coverage for All - Paid For By All -- Health coverage for all is a shared responsibility. Everyone -- individuals, business, insurers and governments -- must play a role in both expanding coverage and paying for it.
Better Health... Better Health Care... What Will it Take?
The answer is deceptively simple, yet extremely complex: all of us, together.
Individuals and families must have the information and help to improve their health and direct their own health care. The American story is full of examples of an inspired and energetic people changing lives and changing communities for the better. It can be done again.
The forces that shape and affect health and health care must commit to action and change. That must include government at every level; the private sector; civic, community and religious groups; the providers, payers and industries of health care; and advocates for consumers, patients, minorities, and others.
Are the five elements of Health for Life the right foundations for the health and health care we need and deserve? Will the concepts embedded in them move us closer to the goals? Can you help us build and strengthen them?
Health for Life will be a work in progress for as long as our nation believes it can be healthier and better able to care for those who are not.
We welcome you to be part of the journey.