NU Online News Service, Dec. 9, 2004, 3:15 p.m. EST

The government is setting up a 14-member group that could help shape the future of the U.S. health care system.[@@]

The U.S. General Accountability Office is organizing the group, the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group, to comply with the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 of 2003.

The working group will “lead a nationwide public debate on ways to improve the health care system to provide every American with the ability to obtain quality and affordable health care coverage,” the GAO says.

The working group will make recommendations to the president and to Congress.

Members from the public will serve 2-year terms.

Information about applying to join the working group is on the Web at http://citizenshealthcarewg.gao.gov