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Saved from a “fate worse than death.”

Posted Feb 12 2010 2:56pm

The self-styled “reform” healthcare Bill is dead. Good riddance. Healthcare is saved from a fate worse than death.

Writing “healthcare is saved” in no way implies that it is fine. Au contraire, healthcare remains critically ill. Nonetheless, there are fates worse than death. For us, the healthcare ‘reform’ bill would have been one.

ObamaCare would have taken a bad situation and made it worse: expanding the bureaucracy thereby escalating costs; increasing complexity and therefore errors; raising the deficit at the worst possible time; and at the same time reducing medical services. Remember that every time the Government talks about saving money through “cutting Medicare reimbursements,” they are talking about cutting services .

Some exclaim that we must do something because things are so bad. Because things are terrible is no excuse to make things worse . ‘Anything’ is NOT necessarily better than what we have, bad as it is.

The word reform, linked in many minds with the word healthcare, does not mean “to change.” It means to change for the better. One can change things for the worse (exacerbation) and ObamaCare would have done just that. It would have been a ‘fate worse than death.’

Death would actually be good for healthcare. If it were dead, we would then be forced to replace it. Schumpeter’s creative destruction could produce a new and better system, one that we design, a system that actually works.

Most of what is written about healthcare is hyperbole, vitriol, and spin. Nonetheless, it is no exaggeration to write that the on-going crisis we call healthcare affects absolutely every single person in our country: you, me, our relatives, and neighbors or will eventually. It is not something we can personally afford to ignore.

We can wait until healthcare gradually dies of terminal (government) bloat plus provider and hospital shortages. Or, we can push it over the edge and replace it with a new, American system , one that we create and therefore we will accept.

In various social media as well as my book “Uproot Healthcare” (out next month) I have urged an extended, organized ground level national dialogue on healthcare leading to a consensus about basic principles. That is the first step in a healing process. How would you feel if your doctor began injecting you with chemotherapy without you understanding your diagnosis and without you choosing your treatment?

On a much larger scale, the reason that our country has survived and thrived is that it started with basic principles on which we all agree, such as the first Amendment. Healthcare needs a basic set of agreed-upon principles or it can never work.

People have commented that we are so polarized a nation that we can never achieve consensus on anything as contentious as our health care. My response is simple.

While we will never achieve complete unanimity, we must reach a consensus (majority agreement) on principles. Without that, healthcare cannot be cured.

“Optimism about healthcare might seem inappropriate.

It certainly may not be realistic,

but,

Optimism is absolutely necessary.”

[“Uproot Healthcare,” page 118]

System MD

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