Where Science Meets Muse

10 Suggestions for Getting Healthcare Discussions on Track – We Need Politicians to Be Innovative!

Posted by Plish on August 18, 2009


Healthcarewneweyesa michaelplishka2009We hear politicians speak of innovation yet they fail to live innovation themselves; they fail to find creative ways of working together to make the healthcare of this country better, of designing systems of healthcare that meet the needs of the most (that incidentally cover the politicians as well as the people) in the most sustainable ways possible.  Oh, as a point of clarification, the status quo is also not sustainable so it is not a solution.

To that end here are some suggestions for getting the healthcare debate on the right track:

1. Hold brainstorming meetings on Capital Hill with bipartisan groups.  One condition exists: NONE of the proposals thus far penned are allowed in the discussions. (I’ll be happy to moderate)

2. All legislators are required to work for one month minimum finding ways of meeting the needs of the constituencies on the other side of the aisle.

3. Instead of reinventing the entire system, find the gaps in the current healthcare system and fill those.  One way to find the gaps is to write an obituary for 5 years down the road for the US and its healthcare situation.  Chances are the things that bring about our demise are due to gaps of some type.

4.  The 102 Idea webpage in Illinois is something that every State should be implementing.  Ideally though it should be bi-partisan.  Rule #1 on those pages: NO Complaining about a situation or about what others are doing.  Rule #2:  No patting your Party on the back.

5. Create a list of the best things that other Countries and States do related to healthcare. Combine them to create something new.

6. Create a list of the best programs in other States/Countries not related to healthcare.  What can be learned from these programs and applied directly or modified to the healthcare situation in the US?

7.  How would a poor Third World Country solve our healthcare crisis? Use this exercise to generate ideas.

8. Create a list of the strengths and weaknesses in our current system.  Come up with solutions that maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses.

9. Create a list of the facts regarding healthcare and stick to these at all times.  An orthopedic surgeon does not make $40,000 per procedure to amputate a foot.

10. Last but not least, the beginning of the solution: Agree on a problem statement.  The problem statement is not: “Health care is running us into the ground,” or “Insurance companies are making too much money.”  A working problem statement invites solutions; they are phrased positively as in: “In what ways might we….” 

It might also help to keep in mind what John F. Kennedy said: “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

Let’s get to work!


3 Responses to “10 Suggestions for Getting Healthcare Discussions on Track – We Need Politicians to Be Innovative!”

  1. Peter Levinoff said

    I liked your blog a lot. It has lots of useful info. This article is very professionally written. I will be back for sure.

  2. Picture Of Health said

    My concern is a government run public option may yield similar results to other government run programs and that’s downright frightening.

    On the other hand, insurance companies are taking money only from healthy people, or from large groups where they are mathematically assured gains, even if they have to pay claims for the minority of those who file claims in large groups. The rest of us who need care for lagitimate reasons are either rejected for pre-existing conditions, age, weight, or a multitude of other reasons. If we’re not rejected, the premiums are so high they are prohibitive.

    One other observation for those that are young and or healthy…..if you file a claim and have private insurance, don’t be surprised to have your insurance cancelled.

    So where is the fairness in all of this?

    Yes, insurance companies are entitled to make a profit, but should that profit be made at any expense?

    The answer will not be found in vitrial reteric supporting one position over another, but rather in engaging in constructive dialogue leading to the best solution for all. I don’t know what that will be, but I do know that doing nothing is not the answer.

    It is true the government has a terrible history of running programs, but we’re no better off allowing insurance companies to be both in control and out of control.

    The solution will come to us if and when we stop shouting at each other and sit across from one another in a spirit of cooperation to find the solution. The solution is there, we’re just too busy pissing each other off to find it.

  3. Plish said

    great post “picture of health”! I agree totally!

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