Monday, February 20, 2017

Health Action 2017: Times that try our souls

I attended Families USA's annual Health Action conference last week and found it deeply moving. My overview is up on healthinsurance.org.  Here's an upshot of sorts:
The conference, to my mind, fulfilled the deepest purpose of such events. It was not so much a matter of convincing the troops that the goal of preventing the repeal of the ACA and further evisceration of Medicaid through block-granting is attainable. Some marquee speakers argued forcefully that those goals are achievable, others implied that the odds are long.

Strength lay more in the collective demonstration of expertise and commitment, evident as much in breakout workshops as in plenary sessions...
Then, zooming out to the plenaries, a highlight was outgoing (outgone?) acting CMS head Andy Slavitt's call to the assembled healthcareniks to respond to

a drop-everything moment, when something so important happens that no matter what you’re doing, you stop and devote all your energy to the thing that needs to be done. And we’re at one of those moments right now for millions of American families. It’s a moment to tell the truth to the American public. Get past the fake facts, the alternative fake facts, the alternative news … and remind people of these simple truths: we’ve never had more people covered. We’ve never had lower sustained cost growth in health care … the share of Americans who can’t afford care that they need has fallen by more than a third. We need to make sure people hear these truths.
More here on presentations by Atul Gawande, Rev. William Barber, and Sister Simone Campbell.
 

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