Revisiting reform: Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Why do you suppose there is so much discussion about revisiting healthcare reform, Reform 2.0?

Is it because Congress failed to acknowledge that ninety-eight percent of healthcare is local; Hyperlocal?  I think the answer is a resounding yes.  What is hyperlocal?  You know the saying, “All politics is local?”  Well, hyperlocal is local on steroids.  It’s moms and dads making choices about who will care for their family.  It’s the doctor down the street, not the doctor chosen by some system.

Individuals see healthcare reform as “What’s in it for them—them is defined as anyone other than me” and “What will it do to me?”  Reform 1.0 isn’t viewed as improving my healthcare, few see it as meCare.  That is why when viewed nationally so many are against the current version of reform.

It’s not that nobody is interested in providing healthcare to those who don’t have it.  What concerns people who do have healthcare is their belief—which may have nothing to do with reality—is that to provide healthcare to those who don’t have it requires that those who have it to give up some of their benefits.  Those with healthcare coverage see reform 1.0 as a zero sum game; for someone to be better off I have to become worse off.

What has people talking about trying to kill the bill is that nobody who currently has healthcare believes they will see any net gain benefit from the bill—they will see a net loss.  If any benefit will accrue to those who presently have healthcare, they certainly can’t articulate the benefit.

To gain support for Reform 2.0, or whatever it comes to be called, reform must incorporate first person interests, not just second or third.  Does that sound selfish?  It may be.  However, they are toying with reforming a fifth of the economy and a service of which eighty percent of the people are generally pleased.  Robbing Peter to pay Paul, and doing so at a cost of a trillion dollars to tens of millions of Peters has not garnered a groundswell of support.  No PR firm has demonstrated that they are clever enough to make this appear to be a good idea.

For reform to pass, Congress must learn to conjugate the care verb: First person—iCare, meCare Second and third person—heCare, sheCare, theyCare, youCare. That about covers all the various forms of caring.

What Congress hasn’t come to grips with is that there is no meCare in heCare, sheCare, or theyCare—hence, people don’t care to support reform.

What do you think?

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