My roommates and I have been planning on having a holiday party in the coming weeks to celebrate the season. It was to be a best-of-your-closet-Christmas sweater get-together. Until this morning.
When one roommate hung this article on the bathroom mirror (we’re all health administration students, health care consumes the majority of our attention) we knew we had a new theme. As it happens, our social circles seem to intertwine with other health care students (medicine, dentistry, administration, public health, health information; for it what it’s worth this limited worldview is one of the reasons our system is in its current state and one more reason to get out of health care) so the guest list will be appropriately represented (synchronistic happenstance considering the new theme).
Reported Health and Human Services secretary nominee Tom Daschle has suggested that Americans hold holiday-season parties to brainstorm solutions for the American health care system (covered here by the WSJ Health Blog). Mr. Daschle said Friday:
Our long-term fiscal prospects will have a hard time improving as long as sky-rocketing health care costs are holding us all down. These health care community discussions are a great way for the American people to have a direct say in our health care reform efforts.
We plan on participating and have made our intentions known to the Obama administration team through their transition website as Mr. Daschle is planning to attend one group’s event. You should consider doing the same.
This all got me thinking about past holiday parties with friends and family and how often health care is a topic of discussion. We’re not usually discussing how to solve our health care problems, of course. Amidst the catching-up/political banter/good-nature ribbing with fellow attendees, the health care conversations usually entail listening to complaints and success stories of health care travails during the previous year. Which is all well and good since an astute health care transformer should be able to pull change ideas from a laundry list of complaints.
Whether or not you host an official health reform ideas holiday party, bring your favorite note taking device to your holiday season festivities and jot down what you hear. Our participatory democracy wants to hear about it.
Of course Christmas sweaters (the uglier the better) are still welcome, they just won’t be the featured entertainment for the evening.