Thursday, December 17, 2009

Doctor-Author-Editor Seeks Syndicated Column

In “Settling in for a Long Debate, “ John Iglehart, former editor of Health Affairs and national correspondent of the New England Journal of Medicine, says the debate over health reform may just be beginning.

Whether Obama gets his 60 votes for passage of the crippled Senate bill, I believe the debate will continue well into 2010 and perhaps beyond.

That being the case, I would like to make it known I am seeking a paid position writing a rWhat to do with health care is the biggest domestic debate since Social Security in the 1930s and Medicare in 1965. It is, to use President Obama’s words, “historic.”

My credentials are these. I have been writing about the system since 1975, when I became editor of Minnesota Medicine. Minnesota, you may recall, is where managed care exploded and took root in the 1970s. Minnesota is home to United Healthcare, the exclusive managed care agent for AARP. I have composed three recent books on health reform - Voices of Health Reform (2005), Innovation-Driven Health Care (2007), and Obama, Doctors, and Health Reform (2009). I write a blog www.medinnovationblog, and for 15 years I have served as editor-in-chief of Physician Practice Options (see

My stock-in-trade is objectivity and knowledge of issues on each side of the political aisle. As Ed Volpintesta, MD, a primary care physician who himself has written extensively about the health care scene, says of my recent Obama book,

“Dr. Reece takes on most of the issues in his book and puts them into context in simple language. There are no complex academic arguments in the book. To his credit, the author presents a balanced and objective look at both sides of the many arguments informing the national debate.”

In a syndicated column, which will consist of 500 to 700 word commentaries, I will address difficult issues head-on with minimal verbal fluff.

My positions on health reform are these:

• We badly need incremental reforms to bring down costs and expand access.

• It is better to solve problems – health plan design, marketing across state lines, tort reform – one at a time rather than all at once.

• These solutions are best done from the bottom-up rather than the top-down through marketplace innovations, but with federal oversight.

• Federal mandates, executive commands, and dramatic expansion of costly Medicare and Medicaid programs with no history of cost control will not solve government debt problems.

• We must put more of the decision-making in the hands and minds of consumers by making them aware of costs, partially responsible for paying for care, and the quality of care they are receiving.

If any of you out there reading my books or my blogs know of any print or email publication seeking a syndicated voice of reason based on experience in the real world, please let me know through my email, by phone 1-860-395-150l, or by twittering me.

I’ll be waiting to hear from you.


Terence Coughlin said...

Best of luck Dr. Reece, I have found your posts to be thought provoking and well-crafted, even if I don't necessarily agree 100% at times - rare hallmarks given all the far left/right pundits (entertainers) these days.

"We must put more of the decision-making in the hands and minds of consumers by making them aware of costs, partially responsible for paying for care, and the quality of care they are receiving."

To this comment I say Amen, and would add also making them aware of the costs of their own personal lifestyle and health choices.

Richard L. Reece, MD said...


I appreciate your thoughtful comments. The only way I see to bring down costs is to sensitize consumers to true costs and to make them more prudent in selecting care by giving them skin in the game. I doubt, however, Democrats will depart from their ideology of offering "free" entitlements.