In this blog I try to explain the meaning of different aspects of healthcare reform, delivery, financing, research, etc. Sticking to that goal has left me a bit stymied in seeking to write about the current state of the “debate” as it is being played out in Congressional town hall meetings and in the press via partisan talking heads.
My simplistic conclusion is that the balance between policy and politics has now swung so far and hard to one side that the needle is firmly wedged against the peg of politics. While the needle may bend from all this pressure, it doesn’t seem to be leading to any improvement of healthcare costs or quality. It also seems unlikely that the major health industries supporting health reform will do much to move the needle, since they wouldn’t want to antagonize anyone because the needle of politics moves over time, and today’s minority might be tomorrow’s leadership – which is presumably what those promoting the anti-messaging campaign are hoping for.
Clearly the world of health reform policy, politics and messaging will be very different when Congress returns in September than when they went on recess. Whether this altered reality will sink the prospects for national legislation, or just shift its content dramatically – either to the left as the quest for bipartisanship is abandoned, or by shrinking its scope to eliminate the misrepresented provisions – remains to be seen. Stay tuned, stay cool, and takes some time to smell the flowers – “it” won’t be over soon.
(Flower from my garden – Email me if you want some seeds to plant in your garden next year.)