Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Editorials -

AEdi­tor’s Note: A com­mon jour­nal­is­tic prac­tice at news­pa­pers and news­magazines is writ­ing obit­u­ar­ies of well-known peo­ple be­fore they, in fact, die. That way, when the day fi­nally comes, news­pa­pers and news mag­a­zines can go to press quickly with the obituary. “Go to press” is Old Jour­nal­ism speak for “post on the Web site.” Keep­ing with that prac­tice, we’ve drafted an obituary for na­tional health­care re­form be­low. Please drop us a line at mh­let­ters@mod­ern­health­ if you’d like to sub­mit a pas­sage for in­clu­sion in the fi­nal obituary when and if that time comes. fter a lengthy bat­tle with pol­i­tics, Health­care Re­form, nee Oba­maCare, died Tues­day, Jan. 19, af­ter the state of Mas­sachusetts elected Scott Brown, a Repub­li­can, to the U.S. Se­nate, fill­ing the seat held by the late Sen. Ed­ward Kennedy, a Demo­crat and long­time sup­porter of Health­care Re­form. Health­care Re­form was pre­ceded in death by the Roo­sevelt (Theodore) Plan; the Roo­sevelt (Franklin De­lano) Plan; the Tru­man Plan; the Kennedy (John F.) Plan; the John­son Plan; the Nixon Plan; the Carter Plan; and most re­cently, the Clin­ton Plan. Sur­vivors in­clude the sta­tus quo. An au­topsy de­ter­mined that the cause of death was the econ­omy, though the au­topsy un­cov­ered many com­pli­ca­tions and co­mor­bidi­ties that likely has­tened the death of Health­care Re­form. Strong pub­lic sup­port of a mas­sive over­haul of the $2.3 tril­lion health­care sys­tem was lack­ing be­cause of on­go­ing con­cerns over the U.S. econ­omy. Most peo­ple were more con­cerned about get­ting jobs so they could feed, shel­ter and clothe their fam­i­lies. They were less in­ter­ested in spending nearly $1 tril­lion to pro­vide in­sur­ance ben­e­fits to unin­sured peo­ple so they could ac­cess the health­care sys­tem. Top­ping the list of com­pli­ca­tions and co­mor­bidi­ties were Demo­cratic leaders in Wash­ing­ton, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Harry Reid, who were found to have com­mit­ted three “never events.” One, they failed to rec­og­nize and take se­ri­ously pub­lic opin­ion, par­tic­u­larly fears about more gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­tion in the health­care sys­tem. Two, they failed to quickly gal­va­nize mem­bers of their own party around one re­form plan and in­stead were forced to cut sweet­heart deals to gain that sup­port. And three, they over­reached with mas­sive 2,000-page bills that went well be­yond the re­forms needed to fix the chronic prob­lems plagu­ing health­care. Also on the list of com­pli­ca­tions and co­mor­bidi­ties were Repub­li­can leaders in Wash­ing­ton who suc­cess­fully painted Health­care Re­form as a gov­ern­ment takeover of the en­tire health­care sys­tem. Other com­pli­ca­tions and co­mor­bidi­ties in­cluded spe­cial-in­ter­est groups that im­planted pro­vi­sions in the bills fa­vor­ing their con­stituen­cies, ef­fec­tively wa­ter­ing down the med­i­ca­tion needed for an ill health­care sys­tem. Health­care Re­form will be greatly missed by those peo­ple who can’t find af­ford­able health­care in­sur­ance ben­e­fits. Ser­vices for Health­care Re­form will be Jan. 27, at 9 p.m. CT, in Wash­ing­ton. In lieu of flow­ers, do­na­tions can be sent to your lo­cal pub­lic hospi­tal. Sign our guest­book at mh­let­ters@mod­ern­health­




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