Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Running on Empty

I'm referring to the Democrats, who inexplicably do not bother to take credit for, or even mention, their achievements. I'm ultra busy right now because I'm reviewing proposals for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation's (CMMI) innovation challenge grants. I'm also part of a group that applied for one of these, which is okay because I'm not reviewing any proposals that compete directly with ours. And, as I believe I have mentioned here before, we also applied for a grant from the Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI).

Since I have a (long shot) chance to get funding from one or both of these agencies, it probably doesn't carry a lot of weight that I'm for them. But most voters would be for them, and would have a better understanding of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and would like it a lot better, if they had ever heard of either one of these, which they have not, because president Obama and the Democrats in Congress never mention them in public.

Briefly they are both important, and complementary initiatives to make health care in the United States better in three ways: better health outcomes; better patient experience of health care and more patient empowerment; and less costly, more efficient health care. PCORI sponsors research to figure out what health care interventions -- drugs, imaging, surgery, lifestyle changes, you name it -- work best for which people; and how people can get the information and power within the health care system to make the choices that are right for them. CMMI sponsors demonstrations of reforms in the organization, financing and delivery of health care that will enable us to actually deliver all that best health care to people.

This is what we need, desperately, if we are to catch up to the rest of the world in quality, outcomes and affordability. No, we don't have the best health care in the world, we have the worst among the wealthy countries. We need to fix it, and that's what the Obama administration is working on. In secret.

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