Information is abundant. Viewpoints abound and gain attention through strident expression. Our perceptions of fact and truth are important and no easier to discern than in days past when we didn’t have the present-day leaps in technology with screen impact and effects, surround-view journalism, the continuous 24/7/365 news cycle, blaring electrons and signals invading our space and senses via handheld screens and building-size electronic, real-time signage.
As it has always been, it is up to us to use our critical better judgment to bring into focus all the stimuli, the special interests – what others want us to believe. Pressure is more acceptable in both blatant and subtle forms. Now it is time to have it coalesce into our own truth, beyond pre-digested, focus group analyzed media banter. It is up to us to make it a quest for truth good for us and for the common weal. Our own, personal, gut algorithm counts the most.
Take Healthcare Reform.
Easy to get on a bandwagon – anyone’s bandwagon. Deriding efforts to abandon the evolving system in place and you’ll have plenty of support. Put down the fact that the system is still on life support and in need of revision if not a gut rehaul? Sure. What’s needed is the conversation.
Of course, an administration wants its imprimatur on 1/5th of the economy. To evolve, the discussion must evolve. If we really want to protect people – and thus our economy and way of life – and yet expect American business to continue providing healthcare insurance to over half of America – or not, we must together discuss the matter civilly as stewards of our own and our children’s health. The country depends on it.
The challenge remains how to optimize the more efficient allocation of limited resources beyond the posturing for our own self-interests. We must seek compromise lest we dismantle a key American advantage: attracting new immigrants who represent the most enterprising and industrious to our shores. Call it “The New Heal” and create a set of expectations we can all subscribe to fairly, with everyone conceding. A good deal is one where we advance as a country and giving in on some points means a win for all.
The Next Big Thing: Beyond electronic medical records and algorithmic programming is the realization that hearing out the issues and ultimately creating compromise through true discussion is the only viable, long term resolution. The world is too small and the consequences too great for us vs. them Americanism viz a viz healthcare. We share the same ‘family budget’ and must allocate it wisely. Time to cohere for everyone’s benefit with the longer horizon in mind.
Compromise is messy especially when purposefully spun if not twisted to suit selfish purposes. Just like Big Data, it will be messy but can lead to progress if the discussion is honest. It will be heated but let it be honest. We all need a fair deal on healthcare where our career choices and choice of where to live are not governed by severe consequences to our healthcare and insurance options. Yet business needs its profit. And an aging and longer-living public require its healthcare. It’s not too late to work together to prioritize and work towards realistic, long term, financially sound expectations. Indeed, we’ve just begun. Adults to the table now. Siren sounded.
A Final Note on Pace: No one should hurry your decisions but know that now is time to move off the square and get into the conversation in your own way. Everything is on the table, the entire gamut from minimum essential benefits and expensive state mandated benefits to both individual and employer mandates, taxes and special risk corridors (or the like) to protect against huge medical liabilities, to improvements sacred to so many garnered after literally generations of battles. It’s all on the table.
The only rush is into the conversation. Discuss the issue with friends calmly with a long term solution in mind, not an immediate line in the sand. Seek information from trusted sources. Attend a local meeting, write your state legislator or Washington representative, publish your questions and ask your questions in blog or on social media with a larger goal in mind: a robust economy and for all. Trust yourself to know what’s right and good for self, for your community(ies) and for our country long term. Learn from the exchange of ideas. It won’t be quick. We must continue to evolve.
It counts this time around, for all of us. Input needed; show up to the conversation, including the one I’ve begun here.