One would have to be a hermit, living in a cave without a radio, TV, newspaper subscription, etc., to not know that today is election day. The barrage of ads and rhetoric has been unprecedented with some estimating that up to $8B was spent on campaigns this year and this was only a mid-term election. Lord help us come the major election two years hence. Thankfully, after today the nearly continuous stream of political ads will cease and we can get back to those hokey, local ads from car dealerships, furniture stores and ambulance chasing law firms.
Having voted in every election since turning 18, I am a strong believer in the adage: One can not complain if one does not vote. So having voted in the last election, it is my right to air at least one chief complaint: Why is it that this administration continues to allow others to walk all over it?
This being a healthcare centric site, let us focus on that issue.
Very early on in my experience as a healthcare analyst I was invited to Washington DC to present to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt and the industry advisory group AHIC. The number one lesson I walked away with from that meeting was that the healthcare sector was full of special interests and no one is willing to give up anything to improve this broken system that we currently have. That meeting also gave me a whole new appreciation for just how difficult a job it is to be Secretary of HHS and if Sec. Leavitt could get just three things done, well then he was a miracle worker.
Fast forward to the Healthcare Reform Bill and yes, it is far from perfect and yes it is a distant cry from what was originally envisioned. But what is important, and something that seems to get lost in all the rhetorical nonsense, is that it is a move in the right direction. But what really ticks me off is the seemingly ineffectual way that this administration has “sold the public” on how this important piece of legislation will positively impact them. For myself, running a small business and purchasing my own insurance, knowing that I cannot be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition brings enormous piece-of-mind, even though I am healthy. Why this administration and the larger democratic party has been so timid on this legislation is a mystery to me.
So as we head to the polls, what I hope everyone keeps in mind as they cast their vote is the following:
Are we headed in the right direction?
Will the candidate(s) I vote for today not simply espouse more lame rhetoric but actual work with others to guide this country to a better future for all citizens?
Get out and vote. It is your duty as a citizen and if you don’t; well don’t come complaining to me about your political leaders in your town, state or country.
One last thing, if you happened to be a hermit, or do not have cable like myself and missed the Daily Show with our Commander and Chief, here’s your opportunity.