the promise of better health care

A friend of mind sent me an email that he got from a doctor friend of his that had these things to say about Obama’s health care agenda:

Those who serve in medical careers are also planning early retirements rather than go through the possibilities of the “change”. One friend’s doctor told him that if/when this is in place, the medical building he works in will be empty… that they will just get out of the health care business. There is no such thing as a free lunch!

Most of you know by now that the Senate version (at least) of the “stimulus” bill includes provisions for extensive rationing of health care for senior citizens. The author of this part of the bill, former senator and tax evader, Tom Daschle was credited today by Bloomberg with the following statement.

Bloomberg: “Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them.”

It seems to me that that the elements of the legislation cited by the Bloomberg piece are open to interpretations a lot different from the ones suggested.

It is understandable (but not forgivable) that too many of today’s doctors who who have become used to their high incomes as a result of their successes in the current health care industry object to Obama’s plans to reform that industry.

I found one really good website that clearly explains how Obama’s proposals can clean up the mess we’re in and set up a system that focuses on the needs of the consumer. That’s us, right? The consumers of health care.

These are snippets of what the health care page on the Deloitte site has to say:

In recent history, health care reform efforts have fallen short as a result of two forces: The economics of the status quo make change an uphill battle for reformers and end users – consumers – have not demanded major changes

The issue of health care reform is not about bad people; it is about a flawed system in which the results reflect perfectly the incentives upon which it is built. Health care reform is about systemic change. It is not about a single program that benefits one stakeholder at the expense of others. It cuts across every sector, every role and, indeed, every household

We believe that four interdependent areas of focus provide a solid foundation for systemic reform. The pyramid (See Figure 2: The Health Care Reform Pyramid) reflects the essential relationships among these areas. Taken together, over a 10 year period, the result is a $530 billion reduction in spending while improving quality.

Figure 2
Figure 2

I am lucky to have found an excellent doctor who is interested in addressing how all of my physical complaints combine to affect my health. The goal is to get an accurate assessment of my health problems, to prevent any of the situations from getting any worse, and to avoid surgery and hospital stays. Her care of me is covered under Medicare, as my care under other doctors has been. But she is more thorough and thoughtful. We need a lot more doctors like her, who already are operating in the new “change” mode. We don’t need doctors like the kind quoted above, who threaten to retire rather than adapt.

The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, part of Deloitte LLP, delivers research on and develops solutions to some of our nation’s most pressing health care and public health related challenges. Learn more about the Center.

If you’re interested, the Center will hold a live webcast on May 27. You have to register, but registration is free.

Topic: More than $140 billion of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was targeted to health care projects. And beyond the stimulus package, the White House Office of House Reform has been working on key legislative and regulatory changes destined to reshape the health industry landscape for years to come. We’ll discuss:

* The status of these investments and how monies have been deployed.
* What’s ahead in terms of health care reform?
* Key legislative and regulatory changes.
* Recent activities within key House and Senate Committees.

Deloitte also includes several centers that explore other crucial issues such as the environment and technology. Those of interested in corporate and government use of technology for information management might like to take a look at its Center for Network Innovation.

As for me, I just want to feel better, and I believe that Obama’s health care agenda will support my continuing to work at that.