Health care reform and cost cutting is on the table, and the industries (Pharma. Healthcare, Insurance) are coming forward voicing their interest in working with the administration.
Now come the editorial commentaries on the radio, T.V. and newspapers (for those who still read them) pointing out that these industries are only interested in securing a seat at the table to voice their opinion and hoping to minimize the impact on their businesses.
A key argument to that effect is that the industries have financial obligations to their shareholders and therefore will protect their businesses. As stated by Michael Cannon on NPR’s Health Care Reform? Maybe next year : “Lobbyists don't simply propose to reduce their members' incomes. If they did, they would be fired and replaced with different lobbyists”.
While the financial obligations to the shareholders are surely a priority, such obligations also include a viable long term business plan. As our health care spending as a percentage of our GDP is growing to gargantuesque proportions, the industries surely know that the viability of the model is no longer quite secure. Perhaps the industries have realized this and are looking at their financial obligation beyond the next few years. Whether they come forward or not, the industries should be included in the discussions. Not doing so would be irresponsible as the key to success in establishing a realistic plan is to avoid a win-loose situation where one or some of the parties loose too much to grow.
Can we hope that a consensus can be reached where all parties can establish a sound business model? We certainly should! A failure would mean that a capitalistic approach to health care is no longer viable…Of course, then there’s always socialism…
Michael Cannon “Health Care Reform? Maybe next year” (NPR) http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104000746