Stepping away from health care jargon

Written this morning at 12:04 am:

I am going to bed deeply disappointed about the outcome of the Massachusetts special election, but I go with fresh perspective courtesy of a few friends:

-The loss of Teddy Kennedy’s seat is not a sign that people do not want access to quality health care; rather, it a sign that this bill, as it stands, does not have the backbone it needs to address the myriad of problems in the US health care system.

– “Health reform” is not an effective slogan; it wasn’t in the 90s when Hillary Clinton was championing her approach, either. In 2008, President Obama infused the very abstract word “change” with new, more concrete meaning, yet “health reform” retains all of the negative connotations and abstruse implications that killed similar efforts for change over a decade ago. We need to drop “health reform” from our vocabulary; for as long as the process is too complicated to explain, as long as the jargon and technicalities stray far from the actual requests of the American people and those who care for them, real change will never come to pass. Mr. President, you’re an orator, an expert in reframing the dialogue; let’s take this “blow” and use it as an opportunity to repackage this convoluted black hole of a bill into something more accessible and transparent.

Finally, a great piece from Health Affairs from last week on the value of integrated care systems in this process.

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