MPCA Book Club: Week 1

This week the MPCA book club read pages 1 through 42 of former Senator Tom Daschle’s book Critical: What We Can Do About The Health Care Crisis. MPCA Director of Policy and Planning Rebecca Cienki provided this response:

I agree the word “critical” is certainly fitting to the health reform discussion. Critical can be defined as “being in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency “ and I know many of you will agree that we are in a state of crisis.  Urgency that has been created by the growing number of unemployed and uninsured and the impact this has had on all of our communities.

Michigan’s unemployment rate reached 10.6% in December of 2008, resulting in loss of health insurance for individuals who don’t qualify or can’t afford COBRA premiums.  Unemployment coupled with a continued decrease in employer sponsored health coverage adds to the ranks of the uninsured.

Cover Michigan recently released a report showing that approximately 11.6% of Michigan’s total population—1.1 million people—lacked health coverage, up from 10.5% in 2006.  The same report announced the average family premiums for those with private health insurance increased 68% from 2000 to 2006. On top of that, average family deductibles increased 25% since 2002.

I know this crisis is an opportunity for transformation.  Polls of the American public demonstrate a majority of the health care consumers are calling for fundamental change in the way we deliver care, and there is growing agreement among interest groups that were polarized in the not so distant past.  Now is the time to cease the opportunity of crisis.

What do you think?

Share your comments on Becky’s response to the first section of Mr. Daschle’s book by clicking the comment link below!

And… if you haven’t started reading yet you can purchase the book online through Amazon, or read it online here through Google Books.

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2 responses to “MPCA Book Club: Week 1

  1. I agree – the crisis has escalated to the point that it can’t be ignored anymore. The fact that transforming the U.S. health care system is a top priority of the Obama administration speaks to the urgency. Community Health Centers have demonstrated that they are key players in efforts to improve access to health care, both at the State and Federal level – and they do it in a cost-effective manner. It makes sense to invest more money in the Health Centers program on a national level, and in CHCs at the state level, to expand access to high-quality, community based primary care. It will make a profound difference in the health care outcomes and costs for individuals across our state and the country.

  2. I read somewhere that if we allow the current rate of inflation in health care to continue unabated it will eventually become 100% of GDP by 2050. That means that we will spend all our money on health and have nothing left for anything else. If that is the case, then economics may force us deal with this issue even faster than policy will. We can get out front and do something sooner or we can simply wait for the crisis to overwhelm us. I vote for the former.

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