Archive for June 4, 2014

HOW MANY PAGES?   4 comments

August 24, 2009. I was waiting outside my hotel in Hamden, Connecticut for a ride to my former husband’s Wake when a car pulled up in front of me and a woman leapt out, waving some papers. “This is terrible! Have you seen what this guy wants to do? This health care thing! It’s awful! “

I guess my reaction was not as powerful as she would have liked, so she went on. “Have you read it?’ Picturing a 3000-page document typical of such legislation, I indicated I had not. “Well, she said, I have – all 119 pages, and it’s just awful!”

At that point Lou’s niece drove up to take me to the wake. I never did find out where those 119 pages came from to which the woman was referring. All I know is, they must have been someone’s summary – oversimplified summary.

May 31 – June 1, 2014  I attended an amazing weekend called “Top Coast Festival” at the University of Minnesota, co-sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio. Someone explained the name came from the fact that Minnesota is neither East Coast nor West Coast, but “Top Coast.”

At any rate, there was so much I’d like to share, but one piece at a time. I’ve included the link to the program in case you are interested/curious.

I try to resist buying the back-of-the-room books. Mostly what my unread books are doing is creating a stack high enough to serve as a table. But there were two I couldn’t resist. This post is based on one of them. The interview was just too fascinating to pass up the author’s book.

Emanuel, Ezekiel J. (2014) Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act Will Improve our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System. New York: Public Affairs

I have actually read 85 pages of the 124 page “Part I: The American Health Care System.” I thought I knew something about it as a practitioner. Now all I can say is “Thank goodness I don’t have to take a test on the hodgepodge that has developed over time as the American Health Care System.” Moreover, I’m impressed with the job our lawmakers have in sorting through the morass.

The data say it all. We do have a “Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System” that needs fixing.

All I ask as the purpose of this posting is for people to avoid making uneducated decisions. Oh yes! They have to be uneducated unless one is willing to plow through the history and the data with the kind of attention you’d give if you were preparing for an exam. But please don’t accept the one-liners our political ads and media snippets have to offer.

There are things we can learn if we are willing to make the effort.

 

 

 

 

 

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