We discuss the state of health reform on “The State of Things”

I had an engaging conversation about health reform yesterday with Frank Stasio, host of the program “The State of Things” on our local NPR station WUNC. You can hear the interview, “Prescription for Health Care,” on the Web.

Mr. Stasio was well informed, and asked important questions ranging from how the wheels of reform move within the Washington Beltway to how unemployment is affecting the UNC Health Care System and the health care of the people in North Carolina.

I was grateful to share with Mr. Stasio and his listeners my belief that our country will come together soon to create a uniquely American form of health care. Providers, policy makers and representatives of the private sector, including those who once opposed universal health coverage, are willing to compromise. This is something we have to do if we truly value the health of the American public.

As N.C. Gov. Beverly Purdue said recently, we have a history in North Carolina of coming together to solve problems. We are doing so now with health care in a program called Community Care of North Carolina. Institutions across the state are working with community health care centers and private physicians to make sure our citizens get the most appropriate care. The UNC Health Care System has partnered with Piedmont Health Services Inc. We provide funds to Piedmont so patients can get care close to home without having to come to the emergency room in Chapel Hill. Dr. Warren Newton, who serves many roles for us at UNC, has led this program for us.

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