Better Health » Did You Or Someone You Know Break the Health Care System?

Better Health » Did You Or Someone You Know Break the Health Care System?

As it says in the post linked to above from the Getting Better with Dr. Val blog, they didn’t want to hear about it. This was the Washington, DC version of the Obama-Biden Transition team-inspired community discussion about health care reform, and the instructions were to be prepared to come talk about an interaction with the health care system that was positive.

We were given copies of the participant guide, which is actually well referenced and backgrounded, although we didn’t follow it exactly per the directions we were given.

And, we had the discussion (not a debate!). In retrospect I think we covered a lot in a very short time, just through the lens of a few people’s experiences – everything from supporting vulnerable populations, to health information technology, to service oriented care, to dedication and commitment among health care professionals.

The interesting thing for me to notice was that it wasn’t the HIT-champions bringing up the benefit of HIT, the specialty care provider bringing up the benefit of good specialty care, or the member of the vulnerable population bringing up the value of supporting vulnerable populations.

The day after, this overall leaves me with the feeling that Americans know what good health care is, and we can trust them to tell us, if we listen. Part of the participant role was to answer three short questions in the participant guide, and since there are others blogging about last night’s event (I hope!), I’ll let them demonstrate how true this was in our responses to the questions…..

With thanks to Mr. Dr. Val (Steve Z) and Dr. Dr. Val for hosting the discussion in the zone where everything is possible, because it is.


I confess, I've never understood the structure of these events. How was I supposed to find out about one in my area? I've been too swamped this month to dig into it. Sigh! And of course now it's over.

Also I don't get what's going on with "they didn't want to hear about it." I get the value of saying something positive, but is the transition team really saying they don't want to hear about it, or was that just Steve's spin as host of this individual event?

Hey Dave,

Well you can always host one – wasn't Gilles hosting a virtual one?

The positivity was an approach of this specific event – the transition team seemed to be looking for the problems (nothing wrong with that) but it seemed that we might be able to contribute more by submitting examples of where things were going well!


Yes, Ted, ACOR has been hosting a VERY active discussion for the last 2 weeks. We will get a couple of the main ideas discussed out to the transition team in the next couple of days. But I can already tell you that the single, most important point coming out of this group of highly educated cancer patients & caregivers is the move to a single-payer system. And that doesn't mean just an extension of Medicare to the entire population.

The discussion will continue in our virtual group. And so will the collection of personal stories, which are an important element of what the transition team asked us to do.


Did you notice or find it interesting that this was not an option to select from on question 1 of the participant survey (page 4 of the participant guide)? Several of us in our group mentioned that we were looking for an "option F" based on the assumptions made in that question…


Ted Eytan, MD