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08.02.2016 / Press Release

Families USA Announces Exciting New Focus for the Future

Organization will Ramp up Campaigns on Consumer Affordability, Protecting and Strengthening the Health Care Safety Net, Ensuring Comprehensive Coverage, and Health Equity

Washington, D.C.—Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA, today announced that the organization is restructuring its program priorities and launching several campaigns to better serve health care consumers in the years ahead.

Pollack described the changes as focusing on four distinct, but interconnected, areas: 1) health care affordability; 2) protecting and strengthening public health safety-net programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); 3) ensuring comprehensive coverage, beginning with an initiative to expand oral health coverage; and 4) better integrating the healthcare system with community services to improve overall population health and to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health and healthcare.

The reorganization is being done in conjunction with a pending leadership change for Families USA, with Pollack having recently announced that he is stepping down at the end of March 2017. A nation-wide search for his replacement is currently underway.

“It’s a time of exciting change at Families USA,” said Pollack. “The challenges, threats, and opportunities facing America’s health care consumers have changed significantly and we need to change too.

“We’re thrilled to be welcoming new leadership to the organization in early 2017, and we’re retooling our policy and program work as part of that change. Our goal is to focus our efforts in the areas that will transform the healthcare system—with its high costs, uneven outcomes, and persistent inequities—into a modern, efficient, high-quality system that truly promotes a culture of health in our nation.

“We know that the number one concern of America’s health care consumers is affordability, so we’re making sure we devote significant resources to help people facing high premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs. These will require system changes necessary to address health care value.

“Similarly, so many low- and moderate-wage working Americans rely on our public health safety-net programs for the coverage and care they need, and yet these programs are increasingly under attack. Additionally, 19 states have so far refused to expand Medicaid, and CHIP will need renewed funding in order to continue serving eight million children. We will dedicate efforts in the years ahead to strengthening and defending Medicaid and CHIP.

“We also plan to address the numerous gaps in health coverage that consumers face, beginning with our new oral health initiative. Today, 130 million people in the U.S. have no coverage for dental care – and we intend to fix that.

“Perhaps most importantly, we’re increasing our focus on health care policies as they affect communities of color to help address the rampant inequities that still plague the system. This important concern will infuse our work at all levels, as will our efforts to connect health policy to the factors outside the health care system that have the greatest impact on the everyday health of every individual.”

Pollack said that the Families USA new areas of program work will inevitably involve some changes in staffing.

“Health care will continue to be an important issue regardless of the election,” said Pollack. “Families USA will continue to be at the forefront of the big health care battles looming in the future. We will re-double our leadership as a key player transforming our healthcare system so it truly provides better health, better care, and lower costs for all.”