Step by Step

GOP The GOP preference is to consider solutions to complex national problems, such as healthcare and immigration reform, ‘step by step.’ Step 1: do nothing. Step 2: do nothing. Step 3: do nothing. Continue reading Step by Step

Obamacare Prescription: Keep Calm and Carry On

President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act There’s growing angst in the health reform community that Obamacare is not succeeding as it should. Perhaps that’s nothing more than a response to the growing popularity of immigration and tax reform.

The basic premise of the complaint, as I understand it, is that the infrastructure is not as far along as some would like, which may lead to confusion when major elements become effective next year, that Americans remain ambivalent about the bill because they don’t know what it does for them and that this lack of enthusiasm – coupled with continued GOP opposition – will yield a bad result in Congressional elections next year. Continue reading Obamacare Prescription: Keep Calm and Carry On

Recasting the Medical Morality Play

Doctor and patient Many Americans have an unhelpful habit of viewing the health reform debate as a morality play where those who treat us, usually doctors and hospitals, are viewed as the good guys and those who pay for those services, generally insurance companies or government programs like Medicare, are seen as villains.

When a physician suggests another test, we assume that they’re trying to be helpful rather than merely increase their income. When an insurer refuses to pay for a test proven unreliable or has a less expensive alternative, we assume that the decision comes from heartless profit-maximizing bean counters. Continue reading Recasting the Medical Morality Play

If Paul Ryan Wants a Conversation…

Congressman Paul Ryan

If House Budget Chair Paul Ryan is interested in a real conversation about reforming Medicare with more light than heat, here’s a speech he could deliver that could make the conversation possible. Continue reading If Paul Ryan Wants a Conversation…

How Healthcare Undid the Democrats … But It’s Not What You Think

Barack Obama's signature on the Healthcare bill

Voters may have tossed out the Democrats a few weeks back, but it was about a year ago during the healthcare debate when President Obama and the Democratic congressional majority squandered their goodwill with the public and set the stage for the party’s 2010 losses. Continue reading How Healthcare Undid the Democrats … But It’s Not What You Think