I wrote a piece last year titled ‘Robbing Peter to Pay Paul’. Yesterday I read a thoughtful post by Kim Chandler McDonald which offered a very similar albeit somewhat different perspective on the topic of where the focus on healthcare really lies. Kim wrote on ‘meHealth’, taking the responsibility for eHealth as the only real way to create an ROI in the space http://ow.ly/5NCPN. For those who enjoy reading something by someone who knows the difference between an adverb and a potted plant and can actually write a proper sentence I encourage you to take a read.
Mine was on heCare and sheCare and it also speaks to the individual but does so without any attempt to disguise my belief that healthcare reform missed the mark http://ow.ly/5NDet. Kim wrote asking what if anything has changed in the period since I penned my piece. For those who may have missed it, and to borrow from FDR, my premise was that the only thing to fear about healthcare reform was reform itself.
For all the talking that healthcare reform created, the silence on the topic has risen to a new crescendo. The only thing that has changed concerning reform is that the silence has grown louder.
Why has reform missed the mark and what can be done about it? Permit me a moment to illustrate. I would ask that all the altruists reading this post take one step forward—wait a minute Sparky, where are you going? The reform package efforted (simple past tense and past participle of effort) to be all things to all people, especially to those who have been disenfranchised under the current system.
While the goal is laudable, it did not pass the test of being both necessary and sufficient. Its insufficiency is hampered by the fact that when we are ill altruism ends at our individual front doors. It goes back to the notion of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Do unto others, but do not undo unto me.
Most observers believe there is some dollar amount that contains the total spend available for healthcare and that to increase services to those less fortunate—the theyCare populous—means paying for it by removing services from those who presently have healthcare, the heCare and sheCare taxpayers. And, it is those same people, the heCares and sheCares, whose support of reform has fallen silent.
While a rising tide may indeed lift all boats, it also drowns those tethered to the pier.