A "HealthTweep" Pulse Check

Exploring transformational potential of social media

Health Reform 101 – ‘None of the Ransomed Knew How Deep Were the Waters Crossed!’

with 6 comments

Have you ever been sucked into the white waters of the Pacific after falling off your board; only to find yourself gasping for air yet unable to surface? It’s kinda frightening, even for the more accomplished surfers’ amoung us.

Ok you say, I got the visual, but don’t surf and what’s that got to do with health reform? It’s really quite simple. The oxygen (or change imperative ‘momo’) is gone, and the business owner of the reform narrative is desparately flailing for air. What was once seeminbgly brilliant political positioning, i.e., ‘you (the Congress) give me something I can sign into law, now appears to have degraded into a desparate ‘chicken dance’ in search of a tangible face saving political accommodation.

Yet, the war is over and the health insurance industry has already won. They’ve successfully enrolled us in their ‘faux hope’, yet compelling version of ‘The Matrix’. Never mind the 46 million uninsured, or the expanding ranks of the ‘diminishing returns’ under-insured, the dubious and seedy practices of cherry picking or worse yet retrospective recissions, while the relentless and intractable ‘evolution’ of the health insurance industry away from comprehensive (true HMO like) coverage to smartly branded (Edward Bernays could not have offered better ‘reframing’ counsel) ‘consumer directed health plans’, essentially re-defines the industry.

Why United, Aetna, WellPoint, the Blues, or their regional derivative iterations et al, so wholeheartedly embracing this dressed up risk shifting charade is not prima facia evidence that they can’t cut it, have patently failed the American public, and despite their scale, can not manage health risk let alone delivery systems is not front and center in the health reform conversation is beyond me. Where is the primacy of the ‘Mayo (collectively speaking of organically baked, physician group culture based integrated delivery systems) v. McAllen” (as proxy for fee for service sweat shops) debate?

To my great dismay, this tektonic healthplan (health insurance) risk shift is in some measure aided and abetted by well meaning, thoughtful and committed ‘health 2.0 entrepreneuers’ who passionately pursue web based technologies with intent to empower consumers in the crosshairs and rapicious appetite of the ‘resistence is futile’ health care borg.

In the end (and yes, it is over, for now…) that which plays out in Congress will be pure facing saving attempts to ‘put lipstick on a pig with whack a mole DNA’. The byproduct and amalgamation of this output alchemized by the forces of unreasonable change, leveraged by the vocal naysayers relentlessly pursuing their culture war agenda to pierce the veil of what seemed to be a Presidential mandate above reproach, will castrate once hopeful visions of the health reform we so desparately need.

In view of this dumbed down pseudo national conversation, I imagine more slack will be cut for the failed architects of the ‘HillaryCare’ initiative. Apparently, the Millenial answer was not to stay above the fray via Obama’s ‘Eight Principles of Health Reform‘, but perhaps pursue a more managed center absent artificial legistlative deadlines, coupled with enlightened curators of the conversation.


Written by 2healthguru

August 18, 2009 at 10:54 AM

6 Responses

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  1. […] panel of presentations on the ‘tectonic’ ecosystem shift from volume to value. In the white water of the transformational imperative, I’m reminded of the William Gibson often quoted in tech […]

  2. Difficult to think that conversation will result in any meaningful change within the healthcare system.

    Even here in Canada it takes major social and media pressures to influence the smallest piece of policy in the system. People think that we have one of the best systems but to be honest, we lack so many of the things that other systems do – especially modern technology and the expertise to run it!

    AMD Support

    August 25, 2009 at 10:43 AM

  3. All obama will do is outsource anyways. Just think about the all the lobbyists flocking to Washington DC because of obama’s reckless over-spending of $2 TRILLION in just 6 months, which alone is increasing the National Debt by 20%.

    Politicians take people’s money and reward the large corporations, in this case companies in the health care industry, since they have the money to more effectively lobby politicians. In the end smaller businesses will be hurt.

    Politicians will only reward companies that will be in their best political interest. Honestly, when can you really trust politicians since they are basically professional liars, and being president just means you are the best liar of the time. Why not just give the money directly from the people to the companies and take politicians in government out of the equation?

    obama is going to recklessly spend TRILLIONS of tax payers’ money just to give insurance to about 25% of those who do not have it. Over 50% of people’s income go towards taxes, just imagine how many more people will afford health care insurance if their income is almost doubled because of dramatic tax cuts.

    Competition is what is needed. It lowers prices of products and services, along with developing new innovations. All of which will benefit consumers. You need to remember that monopolistic tendencies can also apply to government.

    The reason why the cost of insurance is high is because politicians in government mandate insurance companies to increase their premiums to pay for ridiculous things. In addition, politicians put up regulations so that Americans are not allowed to get insurance from another state and use the coverage in their own state. This reduces competition making it more expensive for people to get insurance. On top of that medical professionals are not allowed to freely practice their profession in any US state without taking a long and tedious licensing process. This again increases the cost of medical insurance.

    In the end, the problem with most economic issues is too much government intervention of the economy by politicians, who will only tend to do things for political self interest. Just like how obama nationalized GM to pander to its unions. Politicians can barely run government, yet people think they can run a multi-national auto manufacturing company?

    The solution is SMALLER government, LESS spending, and LOWER taxes.


    August 19, 2009 at 8:39 AM

    • Sammy thanks for what strikes me as a rhetorical and essentially canned pitch. I believe your argument misses the mark, but welcome your objective source verification of free market successes working in the health care domain.

      The problem is not Obama or the absence of competition; the problem is a failed series of interlocking business models in a failed finance and delivery paradigm.

      To introduce choice or the power of ‘enlightened’ consumers to reprice and drive the cost of medical and hospital services to a ‘fair value’ equilibrium, unfettered by the inoculation of third party payers in the health care exchange relationship is the equivalent of trying to push back the tide with a teaspoon. There is a power differential here, not adequately expressed by the ‘too little, way to late’ tagline.

      I do welcome the science behind your claims though, please post.

      Gregg Masters

      August 19, 2009 at 11:18 AM

  4. Gregg, I love the notion of the health care borg.

    But I love even more the idea of an enlightened conversation about how to improve our health care system– and especially how to make it work better for patients.

    Maybe one good thing from all of this will be that that discussion will really begin in earnest.

    Evan Falchuk

    August 18, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    • Evan, good catch! That may be the gold in this labored process. Perhaps we’ll finally curate a conversation and build a bottoms-up solution.

      Beam me up Scottie! I’m ready for the ‘blue pill’!


      August 18, 2009 at 11:48 AM

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