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Distance Makes The Heart Grow ... Distant

Wed, 07/22/2009 - 7:07am
Regardless of your opinions on President Obama, at the very least he is holding true to his promises of trying to institute change, with medical care receiving most of the headlines recently. The problem is that, as recent coverage showcased, while the effort is there, the methodology and approach of our government as a whole is still seemingly way out of tune with those who require, invest in and depend upon the current healthcare system.

Regardless of your opinions on President Obama, at the very least he is holding true to his promises of trying to institute change, with medical care receiving most of the headlines recently. The problem is that, as recent coverage showcased, while the effort is there, the methodology and approach of our government as a whole is still seemingly way out of tune with those who require, invest in and depend upon the current healthcare system.

A recent Wall Street Journal article cited two eye-opening facts about recent efforts to overhaul healthcare. Each offers perspective on the chasm that exists between our government and those who have put them in power.

  1. Democrats are hoping to limit the cost of the overhaul at about $1 trillion over 10 years.

Yes, the words limit and trillion are actually used together in the same sentence. At a time when everyone is being encouraged to spend responsively, tighten the belts a little bit and look to limit debt, our government’s response is to make sure they don’t cross the threshold of $1,000,000,000,000. They’re really setting the bar here, and certainly establishing a connection with constituents who recently funded the survival of automakers and banks in order to keep their housez in order, while these taxpayers may have very well lost theirs during the same timespan.

  1. White House budget director, Peter R. Orszag, has said that $110 billion in savings could be achieved by pressing hospitals to treat patients more effectively, using health information technology and better coordination of care that would reduce the need for expensive specialists.

Okay, so first the automakers are taking direction on corporate responsibility from a body associated with an escalating national debt and a demonstrated inability to put forth a balanced budget. And now we’re going to trust them with defining proper medical care procedures? So I guess I’m qualified to run the National Football League because I’ve been to Lambeau Field a couple times.

The takeaway here is that while the administration’s efforts are certainly focused on fixing a problem, they are so far detached from the situation that their rhetoric and potential approach comes across as nothing more than another excuse for political parties to posture and wax poetic about their “efforts”.

Similarly, it can be easy for anyone, whether you’re a politically pessimistic trade publication editor or a highly gifted surgeon, to dance around a solution and appear to do the right things. True success, however, entails connecting with all elements of the solution and being involved.

As this example illustrates, in many instances our political representatives are not. Hopefully the same will never be said about you and the patients or hospital departments that you serve, as well as the role you play in solving associated problems.

What's your take? E-mail Jeff.Reinke@advantagemedia.com

Surgical Products is conducting a brief, one-question survey about healthcare insurance coverage. Click here to answer the question. Thank you!

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