Monday, December 8, 2008

What is your (health care) holiday wish list for the new President?

The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration is determined not to repeat the mistakes Bill Clinton made fifteen years ago in pursuing health care reform. This means "moving fast, seizing momentum and not letting it go."

Other lessons learned: don't develop your proposals in secret, and engage the broader public. (The Clinton administration was criticized for developing its Health Security Act in secret, excluding participation by the general public, members of Congress, and key stakeholders.)

Obama's official website encourages individuals to host a "health care community discussion over the holidays" (will eggnog be served?) or to submit comments "on why health care is important to you, or what you'd like to see an Obama-Biden administration do and where you'd like the country to go."

Last week, I met with the Obama health care transition team to discuss ACP's views on health coverage and the primary care workforce crisis. And, in keeping with the theme of transparency, the Obama people asked to post the ACP papers I shared with them.

A cynic might view all of this as just politics, but politics is the way to achieve policy. "Born in a policy hothouse, the Clinton plan wilted in the cold winds of politics" observed Jacob Hacker in the May/June issue of Health Affairs.

Over the next weeks and months, ACP will have many opportunities to bring internists' wish list to the new administration.

And on February 2, ACP will be hosting its annual "State of the Nation's Health Care" briefing at the National Press Club in Washington. We will release a new ACP report on what the new administration and Congress should do to create a health care system that works for all Americans.

I am looking to the posts on this blog for your ideas. I also encourage you to consider hosting a health care community forum and to submit ideas directly to the Obama website.

Today's question: What would you put on the ACP holiday wish list for the new president?


Jay Larson MD said...

A direct meeting of the Obama administration with general internists (urban and rural) currently in practice. Direct communication will be important for the multiple facets of the primary care crisis to be evaluated and addressed. Personally, though, I think that the only other person to know what a general internist does is another general internist.

honestlady said...

It's a very good question :)

Wish you a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Best regards