In the spirit of tomorrow’s celebration, here is a list of ten things, related to health care, for which I give thanks:
1. I am thankful that my immediate family and I are in good health, to the best of my knowledge.
2. I am thankful that when my family members and I get sick, as we all will someday, we have good health insurance and won’t have to worry about being bankrupted because of high health care costs or having to go without care because we can’t afford it.
3. I am thankful that a little over a year from now, when the Affordable Care Act becomes law, as many as 32 million uninsured Americans, and many millions more of us with pre-existing conditions, will be able to say the same.
4. II am thankful that I have the privilege of working for an association of internal medicine physicians—the American College of Physicians—that has have shown remarkable prescience, leadership, determination and commitment to advocate for what they believe to be best for patient care, taking on the really tough issues of universal coverage, cost, payment and delivery system reforms.
5. I am thankful that I was able to play a role in helping ACP develop its policy positions on universal health insurance coverage, the rational allocation of health care resources, and many other challenging issues--and subsequently seeing so many of them accepted into law and regulation.
6. I am especially thankful for my contributions to getting coverage to nearly all Americans through ACP’s advocacy on behalf of the ACA.
7. I am thankful to have gotten to know so many physicians through my work that are everything one could ask for from the medical profession: smart, dedicated, and compassionate women and men who spend their days and nights making health care better, by taking care of patients, by teaching the next generation of physicians, and by helping ACA develop and advocate for responsible patient-centered policies.
8. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to work with so many other people—my friends colleagues on the ACP staff, the people I know who work for other health advocacy organizations, and the many dedicated and unfairly maligned public servants who work in government—who also have dedicated their careers to improving American health care.
9. I am thankful that I live in a country where public policy decisions on controversial issues, like the ACA, can be debated freely and with decent respect for each other’s views.
10. I am thankful for those of you who put up with my musings In this blog, whether your just read or take the extra time to post comments on it, even and especially when you disagree with me (as I am sure some of you will about my expressions of gratitude for the ACA!).
I wish each of you a peaceful and restful day of Thanksgiving with your loved ones!
Today’s question: If you made your own list of ten things related to health care for which you would give thanks, what would they be?