Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New "Health Care Reading" Feature

By all accounts, health care reform is ramping up across the country.

Here in Wisconsin, there are a number of comprehensive reform measures before the state legislature. While the governor and others do not expect comprehensive reform to be enacted in the next couple of years, and are opting instead for smaller reforms first, at the very least the templates exist and there’s no denying reform is in the air.

The same is true on the national level, which most experts have claimed is far too vast to experience any fundamental reform in the coming years. In spite of these claims, however, a number of eye-opening coalitions are popping up – coalitions that were unthinkable the last time comprehensive health care reform was discussed at the national level a little over a decade ago.

For instance, the LA Times is reporting this morning that a coalition of business and labor groups are set to announce a joint plan for comprehensive reform later today, and on Thursday another improbable coalition involving the insurance industry, health care providers, and lefty activist groups will do the same.

To understand the significance of these coalitions only requires a glimpse at how diametrically opposed these very groups were back in the mid-1990s on the issue of health care reform.

To help bring the mindset change home, here’s Karen Ignagni of the health insurance industry lobby group, AHIP: “The health insurance problem has been with us for decades. With all these different efforts, you are seeing a consensus emerge that the time for action is now.”

Yes, that’s really a representative of the insurance lobby talking there.

Granted, calls for universal care from the insurance industry are as much an attempt to save their own hides as anything (if reform comes in the form of single payer, albeit a highly unlikely scenario, much or all of the insurance industry will find itself essentially unemployed).

But the fact that insurance industry is teaming with health care reform advocacy groups gives the appearance that they’re actually serious about not just saving themselves with half-hearted proposals – such as the one AHIP churned out in November – but also truly solving “the health insurance problem.”

In terms of this blog, I often find myself coming across articles and studies on the health care issue that are worthy of mention, but, for whatever reason, the context (or, perhaps, time) isn’t there to warrant a full post on them. Since I don’t want to put out posts that merely cite links, I usually just tuck these articles away until there’s a context where they can be used.

However, as the number of these articles has grown, it’s become increasingly difficult to track and remember them when the context does arise. Plus, since these articles contribute to much of my own thinking on the topic of health care reform, I think they’re important to get out there.

So to solve the issue of not wanting to put mass amounts of citations directly in posts, I’ve decided to create a “Health Care Reading List” in the right-hand column of the blog where the best of these articles and studies can be listed. I plan to update this list as regularly as possible.

If you’re so inclined, check it out. I should have it up shortly.

UPDATE: It's up. You may need to refresh your browser to see it.

5 Comments:

Blogger proletariat said...

Seth,

A technical comment. Have you explored del.icio.us. All 'tags' of links have there own rss feed. For example I created a tag called daily news which functions like a link blog I guess. The six most recent bookmarks show up on my site.

This would be the easiest way to lets say have links of interest on healthcare. In addition to daily blog, I have them for Demopublican and Neo Crybaby also.

One word of caution, news sites, Yahoo in particular, rent stories and after a period of time they go away.

January 16, 2007  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Umnnnhhh...Silicon Valley and Detroit managements have wanted taxpayers to assume their healthcare costs for at least 10 years.

The Valley-types went public with it first; Detroit followed in the last few years.

It's YOUR chance to subsidize the Military-Industrial complex!!

January 16, 2007  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

Nate,

I've looked into tags before, but I never seem to have the time to get them started. Perhaps I'll look into them again, at least for my health care posts. Thanks for the suggestion.

Dad29,

Most universal plans are funded jointly by employers and employees/taxpayers -- they're not about shifting all costs from one to the other.

January 16, 2007  
Blogger proletariat said...

Seth,

I use Firefox which make such things so much easier. For example if I'm at a site of interest I right click, chose del icio us and I'm done.

January 16, 2007  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

I always use Firefox, too, so it sounds like this may be a good fit for me. I'll check out that del.icio.us when I get some more free time. Thanks, again, for pointing it out.

January 16, 2007  

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