Even as the United States Senate debates health care reform legislation, two Fellows of the Coastal Research Group’s National Consortium on Community-Based Medical Education, joined by a former official of the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration, are preparing the lead-off roundtable discussion for the 21st National Conference on Primary Health Care Access, which begins April 12, 2010 at the Grand Hyatt Kaua’i. Doctors Joshua Freeman, Perry A. Pugno and Enrique Fernandez will be the panel participants.
One of the consequences that will surely have implications for the long term is that “health care reform” has been politicized in a way that possibly no other major issue before Congress has been in our lifetimes.
One political party had committed to passing a comprehensive reform package that has been designed to get 60 votes in the Senate. The other political party has committed to opposing that package. No deviations from party lines (or traditional voting patterns of independent senators) were expected.
Political strategists for both parties have calculated what they believe this may mean for the short and intermediate term – specifically, Congressional and Senatorial elections of 2010 and the presidential election of 2012. What this will mean for the long term is unpredictable, but likely will impact policy decisions, large and small, that affect the many elements that constitute the health care system.
See Doctor Joshua Freeman’s accompanying essay, posted on this website October 28, 2009. Dr Freeman’s essay reflects his obvious preference between these two political positions, even though it is clear he would have constructed and financed the legislation in an entirely different way. Dr Freeman is a Fellow of the National Consortium.
Dr Freeman is a member of the faculty of University of Kansas’ medical school in Kansas City. Dr Pugno, a Senior Fellow of the National Consortium, directs the education division of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Dr Fernandez headed the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Division of Medicine during the 1990s and is currently affiliated with the Ross University, a Caribbean-based medical school.
He will speak to the process of implementation of legislation, and some of the expected consequences, and some possible unexpected ones, that will become evident as the implementation process begins.