Bipartisan solutions essential, but let’s take it even further
I congratulate Anthony Tersigni on his excellent commentary “After arduous journey on healthcare reform, it’s time to take the road less traveled” (Aug. 4, p. 25) on the critical need for bipartisanship if we are going to fix what ails the nation’s healthcare system. However, I do not believe that he has cast a broad enough net.
The professional caregiver/provider, payer and purchaser/business communities cannot and should not get a free ride. They all need to check their egos and self-interests at the door and jointly recommend changes to our healthcare delivery and payment system that are truly patient-centered. Which national organizations will have the courage to lead on this monumental issue and be the convener of the parties, even at the risk of losing membership?
We also need to dispense with the prerequisite of budget neutrality. If an idea is truly good for patients, then we should want everybody doing it. Budget neutrality immediately creates an environment of winners and losers. It has doomed many good ideas to failure in the past. Budget neutrality is simply bad healthcare policy.
Finally, any recommendation com- ing from the Trump administration, Congress or the private sector must pass the litmus test of solid healthcare policy: It needs to be the right care, at the right time, provided in the least restrictive and most cost-effective setting. The turf battles must end. The status quo is unsustainable and, therefore, unacceptable.
William “Rick” Abrams Madison, Wis.