… noth­ing new …

Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Letters -

G“ ame chang­ing” tax re­form laws passed via rec­on­cil­i­a­tion un­der the for­mer ad­min­is­tra­tion, so health­care leg­is­la­tion is not a “first.” While not true re­form, it could be a step in the right di­rec­tion by cur­tail­ing in­sur­ance com­pany greed and in­creas­ing cov­er­age. Re­form is an on­go­ing process.

What is “of,” “by” or “for the peo­ple” in re­fus­ing to ad­dress a bro­ken sys­tem? Pres­i­dent Barack Obama caved on sin­gle payer and the pub­lic op­tion and added rea­son­able “tweaks” sug­gested by Repub­li­cans in the lat­est ver­sion of leg­is­la­tion. Peo­ple say they don’t want gov­ern­ment in­volved in their health­care yet rate Medi­care as a highly val­ued ser­vice and de­mand greater Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion over­sight.

Cur­rent care-de­liv­ery or­ga­ni­za­tions—both for-profit and not-for-profit—like pay­ers, sup­pli­ers and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies are cor­po­ra­tions and are given in­cen­tive to gen­er­ate prof­its not to de­liver care much less pro­tect the pub­lic health. Es­ca­lat­ing cost of care, poor qual­ity out­comes and cov­er­age for the re­main­ing unin­sured and un­der­in­sured are is­sues that must be ad­dressed re­gard­less of pay­ment model.

The “just say no” and stalling ap­proach to health­care re­form aligns with Repub­li­cans’ stated over­all 2012 cam­paign strat­egy to use “fear of Obama” and “move to so­cial­ism” as key scare tac­tics. If any­thing is scary, it’s the cur­rent state of the U.S. health­care sys­tem. Ann Far­rell

Prin­ci­pal Far­rell As­so­ci­ates

San Fran­cisco

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