AHA Revises Core Principles for Advancing Healthcare Reform

Megan Brooks

February 07, 2020

To achieve the American Heart Association's (AHA) new strategic goals for equitably increasing healthy life expectancy by 2030, stakeholders must work to make healthcare adequate, accessible, and affordable, the AHA says in a new presidential advisory.

The organization recently released 2030 impact goals, which call for equitably increasing overall healthy life expectancy domestically and globally by 2030, as reported by theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

In the new presidential advisory, the AHA outlines core principles for eliminating inequities in the healthcare system, promoting diversity within the public health and healthcare workforce, and improving the system's ability to address social determinants of health.

The advisory was published online February 3 in Circulation. Previous iterations of AHA's Principles for Health Care Reform were published in 1993 and 2008.

John Warner

"The American Heart Association has a long history of leading evidence-based efforts to improve access to quality healthcare for all people. Our work has made a big difference, but major improvements are still needed to improve healthcare for everyone," John Warner, MD, FAHA, the advisory's lead author, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

"Our new principles emphasize the need to ensure healthcare is adequate, accessible, and affordable for everyone in America. Like our previous principles, they highlight the need to improve access to affordable healthcare and coverage, make evidence-based preventive services better available, and accelerate investments in biomedical research," said Warner, past volunteer president of the AHA and executive vice president of health system affairs at the University of Texas Southwestern Health System.

He noted that the new principles broaden the AHA's focus on cost and emphasize value in healthcare to ensure that healthcare is affordable not just for individuals, but for employers, governments, and society at large.

"We published these principles in advance of the 2020 election season, and we will use them to objectively assess healthcare proposals from candidates for public office, as well as from elected officials," Warner said.

"We will review healthcare plans on their merits, without regard for political party or ideology, and our analysis will always be guided by what is in the best interests of all patients and consumers," he added.

The AHA notes that since its adoption in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has extended access to comprehensive health coverage to millions of previously uninsured Americans. However, an estimated 30 million people in the United States remain uninsured, and another 44 million are underinsured.

In addition, progress over the past 50 years in reducing cardiovascular death and disability has stalled, according to the AHA's latest annual statistical update.

Circulation. Published online February 3, 2020. Abstract

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