Colorado Health Foundation Serves Up Health Reform ‘Home Run’
On the ‘hopium’ of health reform, where do you stand?
“I don’t believe there’s any problem in this country, no matter how tough it is, that Americans when they roll up their sleeves, can’t completely ignore.” ~ George Carlin
“Better brace yourselves for a whole lotta ugly comin’ at you, from a never ending parade of stupid!” ~ Queen Latifah
“Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.” ~ The ‘late’ Jerry Garcia (of Deadhead fame)
On July 30 through August 1st the Colorado Health Foundation (CHF) held a superb conference titled ‘The New Health Policy Landscape‘. While regrettably I was not able to attend, I followed the ‘tweets’ of @HealthSymposium, and health tweeps using the #09chs hashtag feed. According to their website the conference was ‘sold out’, which was not hard to understand considering the event was hosted at the Keystone Resort in Keystone Colorado. Can you say ‘Rocky Mountain high?’
Major Colbert ‘tip of the hat’ kudos to CHF as the event featured the following health policy wonk industry icons: Susan Dentzer (Health Affairs), Len Nichols, Ph.D. (The New America Foundation), Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH (Harvard Medical School) and Uwe E. Reinhardt, PhD (Princeton). For a complete list of the faculty and their presentations, click here.
Three presentations impressed me with their depth, clarity and candor. First up is single payer advocate Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, who confidently presents the data establishing single payer as the sole option that can insure the now 50 million uninsured and not bankrupt the country in the process. Her audio clip is powerful, compelling and difficult to challenge on the merits of her pro single payer thesis. (Note: also on the program was Jeff Lemieux, Senior Vice President for America’s Health Plans aka ‘AHIP’).
Len Nichols, Ph.D., deployed witt and southern charm to address the problems inherent in the public option and chart the argument that viable health reform can only come from the non-ideological center (i.e., not single payor, nor pure ‘market based’ – non government intermediated -solutions). Using MedPAC and other data Nichols highlighted the imperative of reform, while also offering his vision of indicia of an incremental though ‘pluralistic solution’.
Susan Dentzer mastered the challenge of providing a recap and guide to health reform in 37 minutes; she set the tone of what was to come from a stellar cast and well orchestrated series of messages. Her introduction sets the standard for health reform context consideration; listen here.
The quality of the conference was superb and the Colorado Health Foundation’s use of social media and Twitter is to be commended. The one suggestion for enhancement is to consider live streaming the conference via uStream.tv, LiveVideo.com or other video feed server platform (afterall it was sold out). Publishing both the podcasts and the speaker presentations on their site via PDF downloads is also commendable; however, uploading the preso’s to slideshare is an option to consider as well.
The conference boldly models an open approach to sharing vital information that can and should extend beyond the reach of the paid conference attendees in Keystone. Understanding the value proposition of a ‘digital footprint’ (i.e., the deployment of social media tools and it inevitable re-distribution) and openly sharing that content vs. a proprietary content lockdown, is a brave and commendable strategy to support public health.
Thank you Colorado Health Foundation!