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Healthapalooza: It’s not my fault!

January 2, 2010

I didn’t do it!

In this case I didn’t, but as a child those words swept over my lips more often than I care to admit (and well before I even heard the question). So, before the President leaves an Obama size hole in the wall (svelte as it would be);  Let’s clarify some discontent before anyone cries – it’s not my fault!

 Is this change – really? Mr. President, you weren’t elected Steward of the Republic and your mandate certainly isn’t to negotiate with Democrats. The corner you painted yourself into with all that change talk is that now we expect it. Incremental progress (like let’s get a bill now and reform it later) is not the beat we expected so don’t expect anyone to jump up and dance.

 Why such big bites?

If this were a coalition bill brought together by broad compromise I could understand the packaging but as is; no, I don’t want a Ford with my ScotchGard (thank you)!

And that’s before compromise? We have yet to see the best negotiating Democrats can do with themselves including the inevitable ‘pork’ that will litter this bill. Whatever comes; Health-a-palooza is marketed as a historic event when in all likelihood it’s a concert from which everyone will leave emaciated, filthy and searching desperately for a bathroom. 

What’s in play?

The mere mention that abortion is under some form of review or discussion (particularly among Democrats) is an alarm and outrage to the vast majority of this country (most especially moderates). Be careful, be clear.

What’s not in play?

This bill calls for a massive injection into ‘electronic health’ before we establish (or fully consider) patient privacy or access rights. Before we build a working consortium of healthcare providers capable of designing the electronic medical record (EMR); we shall spend billions constructing it. The coordination of that information (for national tracking and disease control or patient privacy), the billing and transparency are all under-addressed (if mentioned at all).

The ‘patient’s ‘bill of rights’ died in the house and tort reform was ignored. ‘Fee for Service’ (the ludicrous method in which healthcare is billed), ‘Conflict of Interest’ (notably – the perks and payoffs we allow pharmaceuticals to give your doc or school – for sticking your kid on Ritalin) – were never part of this debate. Point of Care reform (is a hospital or doctor the best / cheapest way to triage health issues) and a myriad of other key or important health issues – never came up.

I put my pants on for this?

The universality without a public option is a coalition killer; a no win! For the rest; I’m disappointed at a year (and a colossal opportunity) – squandered.

So before anyone cries; “I didn’t do it” – we already know!


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