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Tag: David Brooks

Health Reform: PostMortem Coda

Health Reform: PostMortem Coda

My take on why we saw the thrilla in … Massachusetts:

From Inside Washington, Nina Totenberg encapsulated it best.   The economy and job prospects dwarf all other issues.

If we had 5 percent unemployment, he probably would have gotten the plan through.  But you can’t refocus people’s attention on an aspirational goal for a society — I think it’s very difficult to do that — when people are hurting so much in the immediate sense and businesses are going down the tubes, small business on a daily basis.  You just look in any mall, places you’ve gone for years, they’re gone now.  People in every level of life are struggling to even have a job or they’re working part time.  Kids coming out of school can’t find jobs.  This is a very dire situation and he has – I can’t say he’s ignored it, but he hasn’t focused on it in a way he probably should have.

From the Chris Matthews Show, David Brooks always seems to have to most cogent social insights:

Mr. BROOKS: Yeah, if I had to generalize, it used to be in this country people of high school degrees lived the same kind of lives as people with college degrees. That’s no longer true. Divorce rates, attitudes towards society, attitudes towards government, it’s very different. College degree, non college degree.  …  And they look at the people who are running them, most of them are college degrees, Harvard law, on both sides.   …  And they say, `That’s not me. That’s not my life.’   …  `And they’re not listening to me.’

And so the President shifts focus in his annual State of the Union address.  It’s about jobs and the economy.  Then education … our future.

Trying to Please Everyone and No One – part 2

Trying to Please Everyone and No One – part 2

Where is this train wreck headed?  Wending its way through the various Senate and House subcommittees, the health care reform debate of 2009 is approaching a crescendo.    What do we have to show?   The question I posed in a previous post still has yet to be answered – just what is the problem?  Is the problem greater access?  Is the problem escalating insurance premiums?  Is the problem stratospheric and ruinous hospitalization bills?  Is the problem rapidly declining quality of care?  Or is this simply become a matter of whose team wins?  The bill fails — the president sinks.

Andrew Weil concludes:

But what’s missing, tragically, is a diagnosis of the real, far more fundamental problem, which is that what’s even worse than its stratospheric cost is the fact that American health care doesn’t fulfill its prime directive — it does not help people become or stay healthy.

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Health Care reform: shifting sands

Health Care reform: shifting sands

Watch the bouncing ball.  In an earlier post I cautioned my gentle readers to keep your eye on the ball.  A difficult task.

What is the goal?

The goal started with a political strategy and calculation based on a lofty ideal.  Cover everybody.  It is becoming clearer to more people that coverage alone does not guarantee access nor quality.   Does universal coverage remain the goal?  Or universal access?  At what cost?

Now the debate shifts even more subtly  to insurance reform.  That is probably where the debate should have started.   Remember, I cautioned in some previous posts that the insurance giants and Big Pharma will not lose.  They are the Titans that no one wanted to challenge.

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