Len Nichols’ seven health care challenges

All seven are worth reading and discussing. Here’s just one:

Challenge #2: Tell the American People the Truth

It is stunning how hard it has become to move facts and logic to their proper places in the public mind. The truth is we can solve our current fiscal woes without abandoning our commitment to vulnerable citizens, and to ourselves. Health care cost growth, our most serious long-run fiscal problem, is coming down and will stay down if we are disciplined, and encourage the kinds of programs I described in my testimony. This is not to say every payment model has to work or the whole enterprise of health reform is doomed to saddle our children with unbearable debt. We can learn from failures and mixed successes; indeed, we rarely learn any other way. Our country is diverse, and we will need different models in different locations to reflect our differing assets on the ground, and values. Reform proponents are asking dedicated health professionals to effectively re-design the airplane they are flying without first landing it, as patients keep coming every second of every day, and because we cannot change our payment and information systems overnight. But the evidence is building that we can achieve the triple aim of cost containment, quality of care, and population health if we free our creative imagination. Furthermore, we are the least taxed advanced nation on the planet. Our federal and state governments take ten percentage points less of our gross domestic product (GDP) than the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average, and we have a larger military than all of them combined. The idea that our economy cannot tolerate tax increases and keep growing robustly is contradicted by extensive evidence. We may choose to keep taxes below what is required to support a decent social safety net in an aging society that should also invest in children and economic infrastructure and peace in a complex world, but that’s a choice, not a necessity. The debate should be framed that way. [Bold original.]


Hidden information below


Email Address*