Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
Yesterday Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina started rolling out the healthcare insurance industry’s attack on President Obama’s National Health Insurance Exchange. The 1993 Harry and Louise attack campaign will not work in 2009. Consumers do not trust the healthcare insurance industry to look after their needs. President Obama is playing off this mistrust and counter attacking. He sent an email to 20 million consumers asking them to join his call. He wants us ask congress to pass real healthcare reform in 2009. He asked us to join and donate money. After we join his cause we could then tell our story about the dysfunction in the healthcare system. He said your voice will make a difference. He says nothing in specific terms about how he will Repair the Healthcare System.
You will note every email is personalized.
“The chance to finally reform our nation’s health care system is here. While Congress moves rapidly to produce a detailed plan, I have made it clear that real reform must uphold three core principles — it must reduce costs, guarantee choice, and ensure quality care for every American.”
Healthcare insurance premiums are constantly increasing while coverage is decreasing. Most healthcare insurance policies do not have a choice of physicians (physician networks). Quality healthcare (undefined) is not available for every American (universal healthcare). The healthcare insurance industry’s control of the healthcare system is responsible for most of these defects.
“As we know, challenging the status quo will not be easy. Its defenders will claim our goals are too big, that we should once again settle for half measures and empty talk. Left unanswered, these voices of doubt might yet again derail the comprehensive reform we so badly need. That’s where you come in.”
President Obama invites us to fight those who would derail the comprehensive reform we so badly need. He does not define the reform (Hillary Clinton’s 1993 reform?). He does not describe the route to reform. It sounds good is meaningless.
When our opponents spread fear and confusion about the changes we seek, your support for these core principles will show clarity and resolve. When the lobbyists for the status quo tell Congress to hold back, your personal story will give them the courage to press forward.
President Obama’s message is clear. The call to action is to neutralize the healthcare insurance industry’s attack.
“After adding your name, please consider sharing your personal story about the importance of health care reform in your life and the lives of those you love.”
“I will be personally reviewing many of these signatures and stories. If you speak up now, your voice will make a difference.”
When I tried to tell my story there was only one place to tell my story to President Obama. The space was to donate and join the call to action. He promises to personally review my story yet he has not listened to my call for a system of patient responsibility or patient reward. He has not listened to the plea for major tort reform. He has not listened to the need for a free electronic medical record in the cloud paid for by physicians by the click. President Obama does not have a clear the way to achieve his goals. He is going to get a bill passed that is worse than the Massachusetts plan.
In our sound bite society one, he wins using the new media. The healthcare insurance industry does not get it.
“Last November, the American people sent Washington a clear mandate for change. But when the polls close, the true work of citizenship begins. That’s what Organizing for America is all about. Now, in these crucial moments, your voice once again has extraordinary power. I’m counting on you to use it.”
President Barack Obama
President Obama followed up with another email call to action. He is organizing People Power, one block at a time, one neighborhood at a time and one city at a time. His costs are minimal.
President Obama, using the new media, has the healthcare insurance industry on its heels. He used the old media to declare that the healthcare insurance industry made a commitment to reduce healthcare costs by 2 trillion dollars in the next 10 years. His sound bite is “ you’ve made a commitment; we expect you to keep it.” Now the healthcare insurance industry has backed down. Implied is how can it be trusted?
Patient power and the new media will not let this happen. “When our opponents spread fear and confusion about the changes we seek, your support for these core principles will show clarity and resolve.”
“On June 6th, in thousands of homes across the country, we’ll gather to launch our grassroots campaign for health care. We’ll watch a special message from the President. We’ll build the teams and draw up the plans for winning health care reform the same way we won the election: Building support one block, one neighbor, one conversation at a time. And we’ll put those plans into action.” “Please sign up today to host or attend a kickoff near you.”
This time the healthcare insurance industry must do better than Harry and Louise.