Elephants and Donkeys and Healthcare, Oh My!
by Kate McGeever, Recruiter/Sourcer, @RecruiterKateM on March 8th, 2013
The final day of the HIMSS13 Conference in New Orleans was opened by political animals, through a lively debate between James Carville, a Democratic Political Consultant who served on the Clinton Campaign, and Karl Rove, a former advisor to George W. Bush and current Fox News Contributor. The Planning Committee for this year’s HIMSS Conference may have strategically saved this Keynote discussion for last, guessing that the heated exchange would leave HIMSS13 attendees in a political frenzy. Carville and Rove held nothing back as they dissected the Healthcare Reform and the future of the healthcare industry.
Although the pair touched on controversial topics ranging from the recent election to immigration control, the tension boiled over when healthcare was targeted. Rove kicked off the subject by attacking Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), calling it a “gigantic disaster”. Carville then launched a counterattack on Rove, claiming that healthcare costs had decreased since Obama took office, and, in a personal dig at Rove, he countered, “This ain’t Fox News, you can’t just make stuff up”. Rove rebutted Carville’s claims, suggesting that lower costs should be attributed to fewer hospital visits because less people can afford to pay for care. Furthermore, Rove suggested that the PPACA creates a dramatic imbalance between individuals utilizing Obamacare and those under employment-based insurance.
Despite the drastically different political views Rove and Carville hold, they did agree on one thing: healthcare costs must come down before we can truly see reform in the industry. Implementing EHR systems and adopting other health information technologies is an increasingly plausible method of decreasing and standardizing these costs. Implementation will allow for sickness and disease tracking, improved access to preventative care, and foster healthier lifestyles. These changes will reshape population health, reducing the number of hospital visits and decreasing the length of hospital stays, effectively minimizing cost of care and improving the affordability of health services.