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  • Francesca Hartop

Healthcare and American Values

Preamble & Values Statement, ATP

Every individual, family, and community wrestles with how to best manage health and medical needs generally and regionally. There is no single answer. The bureaucracy, regulation, and obstacles that created our healthcare train-wreck make individuals, cities and even states powerless to fix it. The diversity of patient needs, beliefs and opportunities are diverse, making national, single-payer, or insurance-decided health access unfair, ineffective, and burdensome.

Every healthcare decision is nuanced by personal preferences, family situations, cultural and religious beliefs, economic capacity, technological innovation, and opportunity costs. After all, the United States is, above all else, a melting pot. Which makes the diversity of opinions, beliefs, and preferences in what healthcare is needed and how it is delivered, as boundless as our 300 million backyards.

The first step in fixing our healthcare system is defining core value statements that we believe are universal to the American experience and dream. We propose these to be:

1. Equal Opportunity

We believe people make decisions in their own best interests when given the freedom and resources to do so. We believe that government's appropriate role in healthcare should be restricted to:

Patient protection from birth to death both medically and financially.

Economic stability for patients, providers, and employers.

Ensuring a competitive and entrepreneurial healthcare industry which answers to the entire of the American public.

2. Personal Responsibility and Self Determination

A free person decides how to live their own life, what risks to take, what dreams to pursue. Freedom to make decisions, take risks, to succeed and fail, without permission or consensus, is the definition of freedom. We may agree or disagree with others' choices - but the ability to make our own choices, without infringing on the freedoms of others, is a hallmark of democracy.

3. Public Good

The overall public and economic benefit through certain government programs is greater than the scale of all the individual benefits combined. A strong, targeted and effective Public Health Department system strengthens our shared national infrastructure, human capital, and defense.

4. Charity

Americans are charitable. They take care of their own, their communities, and strangers in need. They are compassionate and empathetic. They share and honor their personal values through their daily actions and sacrifices.

ATP is based on these four values. We believe that these values transcend political parties, gender, age, ethnicity, race. They are our shared identity as Americans. The unite us as nothing else does.

And right now we must unite, because our economic prosperity, class mobility, job creation, home ownership, wage growth, indeed our very lives and futures, are all in peril from a healthcare system out of control. We can point blame in every direction. But blame doesn't solve problems.

Standing united, resolved to fix our system in a way that embodies individual choice, personal responsibility, and mutual respect, within a shared charitable community - this will lead us forward to a sustainable, fair, and transparent healthcare system.



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