Reflecting on the healthcare system while waiting at the hospital for a loved one

Often when we talk about healthcare reform, it can be a rather abstract discussion — you watch some tv show with ‘experts’ reflecting on some 20 page bill or hashing through the merits of a public insurance option.  Last week, however, all the intellectual and abstract ideas were brought into something very personal for me and…

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Empowering Consumers

So this week’s question from the Washington Post RX Blog was:   In the Baucus bill, insurers would pay a tax on the value above $8,000 for an individual policy and $21,000 for a family plan. What do you think of Sen. Baucus’ proposal to impose a 35 percent tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans?…


In the Health Reform Recipe, the Missing Ingredient Is the Consumer

So this week’s question from the Washington Post RX Blog was: What’s Your Take On Obama’s Speech?  What did you think of President Barack Obama’s Sept. 9 speech to a joint session of Congress? Was it effective? Did it “move the needle?” My response is below.   I applaud the administration for shining a bright…

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Three Simple Truths

So this week’s question from the Washington Post RX Blog was: Recent polls show declining support for President Obama’s handling of the health-care issue. What should he do to get the effort back on track?   My response is below.   Today’s debate is mired in details about the wrong topics, chiefly public insurance options…

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Individuals and Personal Responsibility May Be the Tipping Point in Health Reform

The latest turn in the healthcare debate is the increasingly sensational coverage of town halls happening across the country.  While they’re described as rancorous and sometimes violent, I’m pleased to see my fellow Americans so passionate and involved in one of our country’s biggest long-term challenges.  For most of us, we think of health care…

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Lessons from Medicare and Medicaid

So this week’s question from the Washington Post RX Blog was: Do you think that a government-sponsored health insurance option is needed to help control rising costs and “keep insurers honest,” as President Obama says?   My response is now live:  Lessons from Medicare and Medicaid. My main points: ·         How will another government-managed option…


Health Care Needs New Rules to Enable Innovation and Reward Experimentation

(cross-posted on Microsoft on the Issues)   Technology is playing a major role in helping bring healthcare into the 21st century.  Many of us have seen it first hand in treatment from our doctors, from MRI scans to laser surgery.     But these clinical advancements represent only a small piece of what technology can…

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A New Place for Health Care Policy Debate

About a month or so ago, the Washington Post launched their new Health Care Rx blog, and I was asked to participate as a panelist.  Every Monday, questions are sent out, and a variety of “experts” from across the health care industry respond.  It provides a great snapshot of the many different perspectives that exist.   …

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The willingness to succeed is only exceeded by the willingness to prepare

After many long months of discussion and debate, the first draft of Meaningful Use has come out.  I’m optimistic about what I see — what’s been laid out seems to focus on driving real outcomes improvement in the health care system.  It’s important that we keep this in mind — that we’re not just trying…

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And the debate rages on…about access…

I think we’d all agree that the healthcare debate continues to intensify.  Many say it has entered a new stage as conversations move to proposals — with Senate Democrats recommending a bill that will amplify the debate even more — to decide if the US will adopt universal coverage. Access seems to have replaced change…

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