Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How Massachusetts Politics May Affect Health Care

The election of Scott Brown, a Republican, has dominated the news all day. The potential impact on the pending health care legislation in Washington is anyone's guess...and everyone is guessing. Ideas range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Here are two that may not be so crazy:
  1. Congress reviews the bills from the House and Senate, pulls out the most impactful on the American public, and brings each important piece one by one for a yes/no vote. The three main issues discussed at length today are no pre-existing conditions, coverage for over 30 million people, and making Medicare prescription care more affordable by eliminating the so-called "donut hole."
  2. The House accepts the Senate bill as is, the President signs it, and the Congress immediately works to fix some of the problems with it.

The panoply of voices today, though, also reveal a Democratic party torn, fatigued and certainly worried. As one of the pundits said, though, "I wish they would stop worrying about their jobs and start focusing on the jobs of everyday Americans." The job and foreclosure numbers will, in fact, trump any decision about health care, it seems.

Among the least believable options are those that suggest "waiting," or "starting over again." To arrive at November without anything tangible is not an option.

As someone who has seen just how broken our health care system is (in spite of some terrific practitioners and approaches) as I worked with individuals facing major physical challenges in their lives, I am a firm supporter that we need change. As someone who has run a business and worked inside of many companies, I also know change does not happen quickly. I can live with the incremental. Can you?

Post your thoughts about health care and what might happen now.

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