I’m back. Let’s get down to business.
This wouldn’t be a proper health blog without some discussion of the newest push for health care reform.
With all the arguing, yelling and misinformation surrounding the current push for health care reform it’s really nice to see people getting along. Here’s a positive statement from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich regarding the new plan.
“One of the biggest components missing in the current health debate is health. We must ensure that health is always the driving focus of any reform effort. We at the Center for Health Transformation call this “health-based health reform.”
Exactly! Seems intuitive, but obviously this stuff gets messy once existing programs, insurance, etc all get thrown in.
One aspect of the new reform that is inherently “health-based” are the preventative care measures. Preventive care, at it’s core, has the goal of optimal health in mind. Preventive care measures ignore the messy parts and shoot directly at improvements in health (pro-actively, which is something the American health care system desperately needs, a switch from reactive to a proactive stance on health). A major component of the proposed reforms include preventive care programs. Newt goes on:
“I give President Obama high marks for his recent letter to Sens. Max Baucus and Edward M. Kennedy which noted that health reform must entail more than insurance coverage. He stressed the importance of finding what works and then creating incentives for its widespread adoption. What he needs to do is put specific policies behind his words.”
That’s right. No one wants to reinvent the wheel. But it is tough to see where the plan’s rubber meets the road. To do this, I think, they should emphasize the smaller changes to the system, those that will more directly lead to cost-reduction AND improved outcomes (e.g. making ALL medical records electronic, making coordinated care the standard, etc). These are a far cry from socialism or a fully government-run health care system.
Why are people so eager to ignore these aspects of the proposed reform? I guess they like paying nearly double what most developed countries pay for care.