More Emphasis on States Leading in Health Care Reform
Our own blog here has been writing since February of 06 that, for good or for bad, the states would take the lead in Health Care Reform since in this writers opinion the Feds-
- Have other very real and very important pressing priorities even under Pelosi/Reid for 2007
- Still view health care as a potential third rail of politics since witnessing the debacle of the dethroned queen of major US Health Care reform (then First Lady -now Presidential Candidate) Sen. Hillary Clinton mismanage this issue beginning in 1993
- Are busy either announcing or posturing on both sides of the aisle for Presidential runs coming sooner than usual (like warm weather in January)
Below are a few URLS that will help you determine why our Nations' Governors, both Pubs and Dems, are marching down this path now and how they are doing it. One is a brief blurb is from The Kaiser Family Foundation http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=41987
As usual The Commonweath Fund has good research and sound advice for the states in this recent piece http://www.cmwf.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=437168
Never shy, former Speaker of the House Newt ("Contract with America") Gingrich had launched The Center for Health Transformation in 2003 as a project of the Gingrich Group, a consulting firm founded in 1999 by Gingrich and specializing in "transformational change". The Center is "a collaboration of transformational leaders dedicated to the creation of a 21st century intelligent health system in which knowledge saves lives and saves money for all Americans". The Art of Transformation a book by Newt Gingrich and Nancy Desmond promotes their agenda as does their website http://www.healthtransformation.net/
Many of the states seem to focusing first on covering all children/citizens- hard to argue with that! Except OUCH!- where is the money for 85 year old grandpa's quadruple coronary bypass surgery? Or even worse where is the money for the immoral prolongation of death and dying in many of our nations' hospitals and nursing homes?
But the fundamental dilemma with most of these state plans is that they still are mostly focusing on health care financing and are not getting at what former two term Oregon Governor Dr. John Kitzhaber calls transforming US Medicine from "disease care" to true "health care" See http://wecandobetter.org/
As part of their week-long series on health care, "Prescription for Change," in October of last year ABC News came to Portland to speak with John Kitzhaber. You can read the story
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/PrescriptionForChange/story?id=2580596&page=1. In my opinion he's got it right!
Kizthaber correctly says we have to have the courage to change our entire construct of thinking about medicine and emphasize prevention -working medicine from the front (much less expensive) end. He says almost in disbelief "It's really mind-boggling to think that we continue to cling to this thing, in spite of the fact that it's not working for any of us."
As I have done before I encourage you to visit the website of my friend Dr. Michael P. O'Donnell www.healthpromotionadvocates.org who has advocated for Health Promotion programs and Health Promotion research for over 30 years! Talk about persistence paying off! O'Donnell now has very well crafted legislation at the federal level which the states would do well to explore for incorporation into their ambitious plans for 2007
(As the DGA =Democratic Governors Association said last year-"WE CAN'T WAIT FOR 2008"
Dr. Rick Lippin