OTHER VOICES

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS EDITORIALS -

“A lot of what we do in medicine, and es­pe­cially in mod­ern hospi­tal care, ad­heres to this same for­mu­la­tion. We hurt peo­ple be­cause it’s the only way we know to make them bet­ter. This is the na­ture of our work, which is why the grow­ing fo­cus on mea­sur­ing ‘pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion’ as a way to judge the qual­ity of a hospi­tal’s care is wor­ri­somely off the mark. … Im­plied in the pro­posal is a trou­bling mis­ap­pre­hen­sion of how un­pleas­ant a lot of ac­tual health­care is. The sur­vey mea­sures the ‘pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence of care’ to gen­er­ate in­for­ma­tion im­por­tant to ‘con­sumers.’ … The prob­lem with this met­ric is that a lot of hospi­tal care is … in­va­sive, painful and even de­hu­man­iz­ing.”

—Theresa Brown in the New York Times

“The prob­lem is that a lot of hospi­tal care is … in­va­sive, painful and even de­hu­man­iz­ing.

“Just as the Mas­sachusetts sys­tem of de­liv­er­ing health­care is un­der at­tack from Repub­li­cans across the coun­try, along comes more ev­i­dence of its suc­cess—this time, in help­ing to cre­ate more af­ford­able op­tions for in­di­vid­u­als and small busi­nesses. The cost sav­ings are im­por­tant be­cause both ‘Rom­n­ey­care’ and its fa­mous off­spring, Pres­i­dent (Barack) Obama’s health­care over­haul, were branded mainly as ways to de­crease the num­ber of unin­sured peo­ple, partly through the much-de­mo­nized re­quire­ment that in­di­vid­u­als who can af­ford in­sur­ance must buy it, and the man­date on some em­ploy­ers to pro­vide in­sur­ance, as well. But those man­dates also served to bring to­gether larger groups of cus­tomers, giv­ing in­sur­ers greater in­cen­tive to pro­vide com­pet­i­tive rates.”

—Bos­ton Globe “First a re­minder: The health­care re­form bill is es­sen­tially the 1993 Re­pub­li­can al­ter­na­tive to Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s health­care plan, crafted by the late Sen. John Chafee (R.I.), for­mer Sen. Dave Duren­berger (Minn.) and cur­rent mem­bers such as Sens. Chuck Grass­ley (Iowa) and Or­rin Hatch (Utah)— not ex­actly a group of rav­ing so­cial­ists. Add in the other el­e­ments of the bill, which are taken di­rectly from the Rom­ney plan in Mas­sachusetts, and the fact that the law, to the dis­may of lib­er­als, did not in­clude a public op­tion, and the charge of gov­ern­ment takeover rings very hol­low.”

—Nor­man Orn­stein in Roll Call

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