This morning I was privileged to sit through the first "National Conversations" forum put together by Indiana Wesleyan University and co-sponsored by the Sagamore Institute, Christianity Today, and WFYI in Indianapolis. Here is the website, where you can watch the "civil conversation" today on health care.
It was very enjoyable. Knowledgeable people on multiple sides of the issue. Former Mayor Bart Peterson was the only one I had known of previously. There were advocates for removing state boundaries on buying insurance, advocates for reducing the way doctors are paid, advocates for innovation in rewarding wellness, advocates for a long term solution and not just a short term fix...
I really liked Peterson and am sorry he won't run to replace Evan Bayh. He basically said that both extremes are unconvincable and that we should be working with the moderates on both sides of the isle toward solutions.
I did have a typical dream, for which I would like to give credit for the inspiration to my nephew Alan Garcia. One of the complaints by the Dean of the IU Med School is that doctor's accumulate a debt of about $150,000 in school. Yikes! What about a med school that made you a nurse first and then a doctor? You would work as a nurse and get paid well for it while then going on to be a doctor.
I also had other brainstorms. Teaching hospitals associated with universities where this scheme was implemented, with salaries rather than pay according to how many tests you perform or patients you see.
One of the most interesting bits of data from the day was the fact that Americans pay more than any other nation for our health care and get significantly less health care for it. In other words, the amount of money we currently pay for health care would be enough to insure everyone in America if we had a health care system like any other developed nation in the world (Canada, Germany, Britain, France, etc...). Also, I forget the statistic, but some outrageous number of tests we have done here (30%?) are unnecessary.