Posted By Ben Miller,
Friday, September 11, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, June 01, 2011
| Comments (5)
It appears that the infamous "Gang of Six"
are emerging with a health reform bill sometime early next week (Senate
Finance Committee). Will this Bill from the Senate side be more
comprehensive? Offer a public option? Many speculate that this Bill may
be the one that is most likely considered as a contender in the race for health reform.
The Gang of Six is an anomaly of sorts. First, they are bipartisan, and
have been from the beginning. Second, they are the Finance Committee.
Let's construct these two points for a moment and consider their
1) Collaboration and compromise: There is no doubt
that this group had to simultaneously collaborate and compromise to get
anything out the door let alone a complex Bill for health reform. Think
of who is in this group (Enzi, Grassley, Snowe, Baucus, Bingamen,
Conrad), there are some real political difference here. The take away is
that there had to be some level of collaboration to get anything done.
President Obama has tried to have bipartisan support for health reform,
but this has not worked as well as he would like; however, this group
may be the lone exception. Now there will be significant compromises
here, but it is a product isn't it?
2) Finance Committee: Some of the most significant
arguments for and against health reform have come down to money. As we
all know, healthcare is expensive. As we all don't know, if we don't
change healthcare (and fast) no one will be able to afford it (see HERE and HERE for examples). Oh, and most of us have read and seen Gawande's New Yorker article on cost by now (but if you haven't HERE).
So cost (read financing) has everything to do with health reform hence
the reason this coming from the people who talk about financing in
government is important.
So, if a group of six individuals, representing different states,
political ideologies, and interests can come together and deliver a
product on health reform, why can't we? Why can't different professional
associations sit at the same table and talk about reform? Why can't
different disciplines collaborate around a united cause? Not to say this
doesn't happen (CFHA as an outlier), but it should happen more!
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