A Hollywood Republican

This blog is for an open discussion on politics. My views will be to the right as will be most of the posters. But, we are willing to post alternative viewpoints as lons as they are well thought out. I started this in response to the Obama election and will continue it as long as it feeds a need.

Aug 24, 2009

Health Care Reform Logics – An Insider’s Perspective by: Deborah A. Cook

Just so most of you think that the arguments against Obamacare are not coming from people on the right, here is an article written by an acquaintence that is on the left and also has issues with the whole health care debate. I will be writing again on Friday or so and Ira will be publishing an article on here tomorrow. Please let me know what you think about the other writers and their opinions. Thank you.
In an earlier article in this blog, the author writes; “Who would have ever thought Healthcare reform would be the catalyst to ignite a firestorm like the one that is now raging across our country.” Since we traveled down this road some 15 or so years earlier I think most of us who remembered that time knew we would face the same level of divisiveness and controversy from both sides as we are seeing now. I, for one, am glad it’s caused this stir among us; it’s damn time this country awoke from its lull and started paying attention to the issues surrounding our legislators. I hold so very many conflicting viewpoints on the issue of health care reform I am struggling with which one I should bring up first.
To be fair, my political tendencies tend to lean towards the left side of the spectrum with more of a centrist’s mindset. I can embrace ideas on both sides but deflect those ideas which come from the extreme perspective of either. Unfortunately I believe the current political climate in DC is so bought and paid for by special interests and lobby groups that when any of our legislators speak I question the true motives of anything that is said. It has ceased being a government “of the people, by the people and for the people” for a very, very long time. Therefore I am enormously mistrustful of anything either side might propose “in our best interest” anymore. We the people do not possess the economical clout which will gain us any credible attention from these legislators. We are merely the avenue with which they hope to float the proposals they are aligning themselves to which are clearly in the best interest of those who line their pockets. Most of our legislators, particularly those who have made a lifelong career out of serving, aren’t there because they feel it’s the right thing to do by our citizenry and our country. I am confident regardless of which affiliation a person feels a closer association with knows these facts as well as I do. It’s a political game of tennis with both sides lobbing the ball to and fro in order to serve those who afforded them the financial wherewithal to maintain their economic status.
Having said all that, I now want to give my perspective as to the current issue of health care reform. In recent history I have spent some time listening intently to those who feel passionately on both sides and I find great merit in both arguments. While one side will tell us we don’t want big government controlling our health care the other side states that the current health care system is shattered and requires intervention to bring it back to a place where the focus returns to the well being of the patient. As an individual who actually works in this industry I can tell you I see valid arguments to both of those points. To date our government hasn’t done such a good job caring for our seniors under the current Medicare programs and I see rampant abuse and mishandlings which frightens me when considering allowing them to take on such the enormous project of managing health care for all. On the other hand, I do have a moral problem with our medical society being set up in such a way that somehow a patient’s illness or health care need is viewed as opportunity for financial gain and profit. This factor alone serves to complicate the entire system of health care in our country. It can be said that one’s ability to heal or be healed is in direct correlation to the level of insurance coverage and how much that coverage will pay for unnecessary, duplicated procedures and consultations which have very little to do with the actual care of the patient. It’s a numbers game and those numbers are preceded by dollar signs. I see it each and every day and I’m flabbergasted as to how skillfully the process is implemented. Yes, there are sound and reasoned arguments on both sides of this issue which speak to serious and lasting changes within the system.
So how do we solve this? Currently we have entities on both sides of this issue who serve to benefit the most financially spending egregious amounts of money to skew the facts and ensure their own preferred outcome. Their dollars are being spent to initiate a frenzy of emotions in order to ignite the populace and divide the country in half. There are mistruths on both sides being thrown about in hopes of instilling fear and doubt, again to garner the preferred outcome of the financiers.
I could speak more specifically to the strategies that are put in the place which only serve to cloud and confuse but I think it is critical to stay on topic here so I won’t. We all see it for ourselves every day.
I have spent most of my life in management and if these were the tactics I utilized towards addressing a problem I would’ve been considered an abject failure. Since our government should be a fiscally responsible entity must like a business we would be well served to follow some of the practices adopted by those who are deemed the most successful in the business world.
First and foremost we should gather a team of the greatest minds available to us with expert or firsthand knowledge of the industry for this process that would:
1. Identify the problem;
2. List the issues which arise as a result of the problem;
3. List the potential solutions to each one of the issues;
4. Prioritize those solutions in order of efficiency, cost factors and desired
results;
5. Implement those solutions as agreed to by all the participants;
6. Meet and review after 30 days to ensure those practices adopted were addressing the problem as it was originally identified; and,
7. Make changes as necessary and continue to meet regularly for evaluations sake.
I am boggled that every major issue our legislators are forced to address becomes so complicated and mired in controversy that departure from any real solutions ends up being explained away on the nightly news and typically blamed on the opposing side.
I know I’m merely a layperson and I don’t obtain an income from those who serve to benefit the most on the issue, but I have chosen to make my life’s work improving one’s ability to maintain a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. I think it would be advantageous to all of us to gather the greatest minds involved in this industry, from the CEO’s of health care facilities and insurance companies to the Doctors, nurses. CNAs and technologists who actually are responsible for quality care of the patient. Included in this mix should be patients themselves who can offer us a greater perspective from their vantage point. Once these folks are gathered, lock them all in a room and impress upon them that the meeting will not end until a REASONABLE and OBJECTIVE proposal is adopted with the primary goals being patient care and financial sustainability for those who are directly responsible for said patient care.
We can all sit around screaming and hollering about how the other side has it all wrong and raise the red flags of panic as to the severe damage that will take place as a result of their actions. This can be said for both sides and in the interim the problem moves further and further away from our grasp. We’re adults and we need to start acting like adults. I say we start this entire process over and remind ourselves that the real problem is that health care in this country is broken and identify which steps we can take towards repairing it. Keep in mind, we all will be a patient some day, this is not a “them” problem it is an “us” problem. I don’t want token measures which sound good in theory but actually do nothing, and I certainly don’t want the foxes minding the chicken coop without some input from the chickens themselves.
In closing I would ask that you note the solutions portion of this submission does not mention any input from our illustrious politicians. That wasn’t an error in omission by any means. To date I don’t see any of them with the capacity of solving anything except forwarding their own personal agendas. Rather than allowing the politicians and the main stream media pundits on both sides to allow us to focus on what divides us we need to turn our attentions to identifying those items which we share common goals on and can all find agreement towards. It really is “we the people” who possess the objectivity to see things for what they really are and not how others tell us they are. We owe this to the future generations as well as to ourselves. What a wonderful concept to think that those who may come after us on this plain can look back and say “those people got it right”.
© 2009 by Deborah A. Cook

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Ira said...

Nice article "D". I think what you are proposing here is basically what most major corporations do before they embark on a new project. Get people who know the industry and are familiar with the way things are run to guide you as you proceed. It would be nice if big government ran that way too. Maybe we'd even end up with a balanced budget.

August 25, 2009 at 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is exactly what I am proposing Ira. The latest information and technology coupled with expertise and logic to produce a reasonable solution. What a concept!!

D

August 25, 2009 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My dearest Deb
Well put, well done, well said. Youre very insightful, and have some wonderful concepts. So, now how do we make this happen????

August 25, 2009 at 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Monika;
If I really were charged with formulating this task I would simply pick up my phone and make that first call. The specifics from there can be worked out, but it really just starts by communicating your vision of tackling the problem.

August 26, 2009 at 1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, your solution uses common sense. It just ignores the ego factor. And, most of the politicians in question have a very high ego factor. This is why almost nothing gets done. It's all about "me" and not about the people that elected me.

August 26, 2009 at 7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous that is the cold-hard truth. So how do we set about to correcting that?
Lobby Reform?
Term Limits?
We have some responsibility in this mess too, we've allowed ourselves to follow the same path getting the same results from DC for too long

August 26, 2009 at 8:34 AM  

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