Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23-30: A Week For Health Reform Consensus
The president of the multiversity is a leader, educator, wielder of power, pump; he is also officeholder, caretaker, inheritor, consensus seeker, persuader, bottleneck. But he is mostly a meditator.
Clark Kerr (1911- 2003 ), professor of economics,  first chancellor and president of University of California, Godkin Lectures at Harvard University, 1963
Mr. President,  this is a week for all of us to come to our senses. This is a time for consensus.   It is a time for you to back off your statement that you will not negotiate, compromise, or even discuss Obamacare. You have said you embrace the term “Obamacare” because you care.   Show us you mean what you say.
Now is the time,
·         to demonstrate  that you care, really care, for the greater good of the American people,  not just to protect your ego and your perceived legacy;

·         to listen to the American people, who,   repeatedly over the last three and one half years,  by owerwhelming margins,   have told you they do not approve of  your law; and want it changed;

·         to acknowledge that the law, although it has undoubted virtues, has grave faults along with its positive benefits;

·         to blend the necessities of government  oversight with the incentives of American innovation and entrepreneurship;

·         to confess  that the law has created a pervasive  climate of uncertainty and that uncertainty clouds our economy’s and our health system’s future;

·         to recognize that some of its provisions, penalties, and mandates repress economic activities,  slow business hiring , and are responsible for  turning us into a part-time nation;
·         to show faith that you understand that people and their doctors are oftimes more  capable of making better decisions about their care and economic futures  than government officials;

·         to show that you are aware that your reforms are resulting in the decline of private practices,  the appeal of medicine as a profession,  and burgeoning physician shortages;

·         to make clear that  the powers of the computer and data metrics and principles of outcome management do not always apply to personal health decisions;

·         to  show that the powers of federalism, centralized government control,  must be shared with the states over such issues as Medicaid expansion;

·         to consider delaying  other parts of the law, as you did with the Employer Mandate, for a year,  until you and your government can  better prepare its systems to deliver on its promises;

·         to avoid the nightmare and calamities of a government shutdown so you can cast blame on your opposition who share your belief in the greater good;

·         but first and foremost,  to sit down at the negotiating table with your opponents to figure out how to make health reform, which is badly needed,  better for all concerned.

Tweet:  Now is the time for President Obama to sit  at the negotiating table with the opposition to improve health reform performance and outcomes.

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