What We Learned in Hearing Rooms

June 30, 2009
3:06 pm

For those seeking insights into the challenges facing American healthcare and the complexities involved in health reform, last week’s hearings in various congressional committees and subcommittees provided a wealth of information.

Healthcare Leadership Council members were well represented in the hearing rooms, providing perspectives from the front lines of healthcare delivery and medical research.  There was also interesting testimony from a Canadian woman who recently treatment for a brain tumor at the Mayo Clinic.  Read more

On the Air in NC

June 30, 2009
10:28 am

wptf_header3I want to thank WPTF Radio of Raleigh, NC for inviting me on the air yesterday morning to discuss health reform.  It was a good opportunity to talk about the possible impact on physicians, hospitals and patients if Medicare payment rates are expanded to cover a significantly larger portion of the population.      You can listen to the interview here.

The Problem With Polls — Part II

June 24, 2009
12:38 pm

Earlier this week, I offered comments regarding a New York Times/CBS News poll that claimed 72 percent of Americans supported the creation of a government-run health plan.  I said that the idea of more choices would always generate an overwhelming “yes” answer if respondents were not apprised of the possible consequences of the policy change.

This morning, the Washington Post and ABC News echoed this comment.

A Post/ABC poll showed that 62 percent of the public offers an initial positive response to the government health plan concept, but when told that this new structure might cause some private insurers to go out of business, support drops sharply to 37 percent. Read more

Doctor’s Orders for Healthcare Reform

June 22, 2009
4:16 pm

copy-of-new-picture2It’s a privilege to turn this blog over to a Healthcare Leadership Council member, Dr. Herb Pardes, the president and chief executive officer of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.  Dr. Pardes had an excellent op-ed published this weekend in the New York Daily News, focusing on ways to reduce costs that are threatening access to care.

The Problem With Polls

June 22, 2009
3:43 pm

Those who advocate government-run healthcare have seized upon a New York Times/CBS News poll published yesterday that shows 72 percent of Americans support the idea of a government health plan competing with private insurers.

I can understand advocates cheering this survey without question, but I’m a little disappointed in many of the news stories and journalists’ blogs I’ve seen that cite the NYT/CBS data without putting it in perspective or asking questions about its actual significance.

Here are some questions that should be raised when looking at these poll numbers:

• Are people saying “yes” to more choices without being asked to consider the possible ramifications?  Let’s be honest.  Most Americans have not spent a great deal of time dwelling on the pros and cons of the government health plan debate.  The Times is essentially asking people a simple question – do you want more choices?  There’s no obvious downside to answering “yes.”  Read more