Congress swings and misses on healthcare reform efforts
For me, the official arrival of spring comes with the new baseball season, that long stretch starting in April and ending around November.
Further reading: What AHCA's failure means for physicians
But it is another drawn-out contest that has my attention these days, as the re-energized Republican Elephants take on the recently demoralized Democratic Donkeys in one of the longest ongoing games of the past decade: healthcare reform.
Both teams have lost big sluggers over the years, retooled with young upstarts and most of the action still occurs outside the “field” of Congress, swapping sound bites and snipes at who will emerge victorious at the end of the contest. Fans on both sides continue to argue ad nauseam on radio and in the comment sections of websites over who is truly the better squad, often with rationale that makes one’s head spin.
I have loved baseball for as long as I can remember, but as I get older, I have the same problems with those who play our national pastime that I have with our national representatives in government. Both tend to forget about the people who pay their salaries after a little time in the spotlight.
In the contest over healthcare reform, Republicans are appealing right to their fan base. The political rallying cry, “you deserve better” is repeated over and over again before thousands in small towns and big cities. But a closer look at the playbook—the American Health Care Act—begs the question of who the “you” is.
It doesn’t appear to be Medicaid patients, many of whom will lose coverage. It doesn’t even appear to be the majority of those who’ve gained healthcare coverage in recent years (and may have voted Republican in the last election), but face uncertainty when it comes to their care. And it certainly doesn’t mean the nearly 1 million U.S. physicians who will yet again, see a fluctuating patient panel.