VIEWPOINT: We want your ideas on improving health care
FARGO -- North Dakotans have a lot to say about health care, and we want to hear it. Like everyone else these days, North Dakotans are concerned about rising health care costs -- costs that in turn drive increases in health insurance premiums. Th...
FARGO -- North Dakotans have a lot to say about health care, and we want to hear it.
Like everyone else these days, North Dakotans are concerned about rising health care costs -- costs that in turn drive increases in health insurance premiums. They're worried about their ability to access care and afford coverage.
And as the debate on implementing reform continues, it's abundantly clear that our current health care system simply is unsustainable.
Something has to change. But no one wants to lose the quality of care they've come to expect.
It's time for bold ideas. While everyone is looking to Washington for health care solutions, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota is looking right here.
Beginning Wednesday in Grand Forks, we'll be hosting a series of community discussions across the state to listen, learn and share ideas and suggestions about health care.
The discussions are open to everyone, and we're inviting all North Dakotans to participate in person in a nearby community or online.
We'll answer your questions. We'll talk about what we're doing, along with others in the state, to address the issues. And we'll listen.
We need a conversation about how to make sure health care and health insurance coverage is accessible and affordable for all North Dakotans and how to make sure our system is sustainable.
We're looking for common-sense solutions that address our unique health care challenges. It's that kind of thinking that has let North Dakota achieve health care that is among the highest quality in the nation and premiums that are among the lowest.
Why are we holding these meetings now? Because we can't wait for someone else to fix these problems, and we believe North Dakota is uniquely positioned to lead the way in finding innovative, sustainable solutions.
Blue Cross of North Dakota already has been collaborating with health care providers on issues such as rising costs and quality of care. Together, we've made progress, and we'll share those results at the health care forums.
We've also surveyed BCBSND members to get their opinions and ideas. Responses by the thousands have been pouring in.
Clearly, North Dakotans want to have a voice in the discussion, and they have a lot to contribute. They want to learn more about how their insurance premiums are determined. They want to know what they can do to address costs.
Now, it's time for even more North Dakotans to participate in the discussion -- as many as possible.
The issues are complex, and the challenges are great, but so is the resolve of North Dakotans. We have a history of tackling problems head-on. Together, we can develop and implement common-sense solutions to improve health care right here at home and show the rest of the country what can be accomplished.
Join the conversation. Attend a forum, submit questions online, follow and contribute to the discussion on Twitter and Facebook or view the forums live or after the fact at NDHealthCareForums.com.
Community forums will continue through October and into 2012.
Seize this chance to make your voice heard.
Von Ebers is president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.