Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Cluster F*ck of the Healthcare Summit..Why the President, GOP, and Democrats need a mediator.

Today I watched the healthcare reform summit. I have never watched the political process played out. Overall, I thought it was interesting, but was amazingly dismayed to the extent that they... the Republicans, Democrats, and the President are fundamentally so philosophically far apart. The Repulicans want to start from scratch and the Democrats want to push this thing through.

I have so many reactions. And, as a novice to all this am not sure where to begin. So I will post these basic points.

Sen. Jon Kyl, a Republican from Arizona, said it quite well:

"We do not agree on the fundamental decision about who should be in charge," he said. "We all agree on eliminating waste, fraud and abuse. Of course we do. But it's how you go about it."

While the president was mediating the process there was really nothing fundamentally agreed upon except... some concession to limits of malpractice (major Republican point) and allowing states to experiment with alternative means to resolve lawsuits. And, of course...yes, we need reform.

My problem with Obama and the Dems combined is that they want reform no matter what.
Obama dings everyone on special interests and non bipartisanship and campaign shit, yet he get's bristly when there are criticism about his plan. While the Republicans are so entrenched in the notion that it is unAmerican to have everyone purchase health insurance, which I find a ridiculous position. We all have to buy car insurance, don't we. I believe it is illegal if you don't have it. So, why not health insurance? Especially when medical costs are 17% of the GDP.

There was a lot of discussion of purchasing pools and the best way to manage such agreements.  I absolutely agree with leveraging purchasing power.  That is a standard business cost saving tool, be it a pool for independent small business owners among other techniques to keep the costs of buying insurance down. No brainer there

And, so it goes. It is quite a debacle. Where do we go from here? I don't think much more than continued entrenchment in positions that are getting further hermetically sealed. Too bad that both sides are so stuck on their position statements.

Although I believe that healthcare reform is overdue, I do think that care must be taken to ensure it is done reasonably well. While I applaud the Obama administration for tackling this head on, I don't think passing a bill without support of the Republicans is a smart way to go. It could cause more alienation.

Based on the following Twitter feeds #hcr and #hcsummit I am amazed how negative many of the responses are. Yikes. Do I live in this country.

I wish I had more poignant points to make, but as a newbie, this is the best I do. The WSJ had a good article . And, if that is not enough You can watch here for highlights.

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