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Monday, October 19, 2009

Making Sense of the Health Care Debate

“The discussion has gone from health care reform to insurance and payment reform,” said Toby Cosgrove, the president and chief executive of the Cleveland Clinic, which Mr. Obama visited in July and often holds up as a model of how hospitals would operate in a revamped system. “We’re not really reforming the system,” Mr. Cosgrove said. “We are reforming how we pay for it. It’s certainly all about politics right now.” How true. Bottom line is there is no making sense of the current health care debate.

No one in the medical field even knows how to comment on the broad use of the term "health care reform" which has been thrown around, other than throw up their hands in frustration. I think we all feel powerless to effect any change on what is playing out in the halls of our government. As of today, health care reform is being sold as "health insurance reform". But that title has only recently become the masthead for the latest push because that is how Washington will best sell the President's agenda, and the recent legislation. The discussion overall has long ago been taken over by non-medical professional policy makers. In other words, medicine is being taken over by applying business models to the practice of medicine. What we will ultimately see happen is a philisophical shift in how doctors practice medicine. Not that some of this has not already been happening. But the implications will be much greater as we see a new generation of physicians enter into a much different practice environment than what we have had up to this point.

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