The ACP Advocate Blog

by Bob Doherty

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dr. Seuss' Rx for Obama's health reform slump

"Oh!
The places you'll go!

You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
Who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because sometimes you won't.

You can get all hung up
In a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
With an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.
And when you are in a Slump,
You're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
Is not easily done.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place ...
... for people just waiting.
Waiting for a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or NO
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting."

The above excerpts come from Dr. Seuss' final, masterful book, "Oh, The Places You'll Go!," a motivational tale of overcoming life's challenges to arrive at great places.

I can't think of a better description of the present health reform slump, and of the weirdish, wild, space - the Waiting Place - in which members of Congress now find themselves. Waiting for President Obama to signal his intentions. Waiting for Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to come up with a plan. Waiting for another chance to get health reform done, right.

(Meanwhile. Kristen Gerencher blogs in Market Watch about efforts by various stakeholders to ramp up pressure on Congress and the president to move forward on reform, including a joint letter sent yesterday to Congress and President Obama by the American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, and American Osteopathic Association, advocating that a pathway be found to move forward on "essential" reforms to expand coverage, ensure a sufficient primary care workforce, reform payment and delivery systems, and support alternatives to the medical liability tort system.)

Dr. Suess wraps up by saying:

"On and on you will hike.
And I know you'll hike far
And face up to your problems
Whatever they are ...

And will you succeed?
Yes, You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!"

President Obama's State of the Union address tomorrow will tell us much about whether he can face up to his problems, regain the initiative, and move mountains to achieve comprehensive health care reform for all Americans.

Today's question: What do you think President Obama should say about health reform in his State of the Union address?

P.S. The ACP Advocate Blog is a finalist in the sixth annual Medical Weblog Awards for the Best Health Policies/Ethics Weblog. Voting begins on January 27 and will close at 12 midnight on February 14. Please take a moment to vote for the ACP Advocate Blog.

2 Comments :

Blogger Rich Neubauer MD said...

I think this is a seminal moment for Mr. Obama and the democratic party he leads.

I think he should display the courage and conviction needed to clear a path for congressional passage of major health care reform, which is still a possibility.

True leadership is not easy and sometimes requires tough choices. I hope to see true leadership in the coming days.

January 26, 2010 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Jerry M said...

The use of Dr.Seuss’ inspirational poem to cheer the Democrats on to pass healthcare for everyone would make Karl Marx proud. It is very easy to convince people that the government should do more for them but it will run out of other peoples money. The poem could also be used to cheer conservatives on who against great odds have gained a small foothold. The reason I preface my remarks this way is that we have seen no bipartisanship in this healthcare debate by the House, the Senate or the President. ACP’s support of the bills and rhetoric also indicates none as well. This leads me to predict President Obama’s approach.

His response to the Mass. election was that he had failed to explain the legislation so that the people could understand how good it was for them and his remarks about being a really good one term president indicates that he wants to stay the course even if people vote him out. Much earlier I heard him say that this would only be the first step toward a full government run healthcare system. He said in one of his autobiographical books that he had a particularly close relationship with his Marxist professors. President Obama is a Socialist ideologue and has no intention of improving the private insurance system. He is a rhetorical president who was elected for what he said not for what he had done. He was never known for reaching across the aisle. He will give a little lip service to bipartisanship only.

What I believe the people want is a real attempt to reach across and propose improvements in individual insurance by making it tax deductible, group rates across state lines, portable , to not threaten to reduce medicare spending by 30% and to propose real tort reform so that insurance would be available and affordable to all.. Healthcare in the USA is the best in the world. If you have cancer or heart disease you have the best prognosis of any nation. I take emergency room admissions and am very familiar with caring for people without insurance. It obviously would be better for me if they all had good insurance but I don’t think we should jeopardize those who have been paying for private insurance or medicare to provide full insurance to those who choose not to pay.

January 27, 2010 at 5:14 PM  

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About the Author

Bob Doherty is Senior Vice President, American College of Physicians Government Affairs and Public Policy; Author of the ACP Advocate Blog

Email Bob Doherty: TheACPAdvocateblog@acponline.org.

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