[ Friday, June 17, 2005 ]


Odd bedfellows, for sure: I don't really know what to think about Hillary and Newt or Hillary and Frist. Newt has been pretty active in trying to inject some efficiencies into the healthcare system; I saw him at the Dallas-Ft. Worth Hospital Council annual luncheon a couple of years ago, and he had some interesting things to say about the way technology has advanced in out lives almost without notice; when was the last time you wrote a check for "cash" instead of using an ATM or paid a gas station attendant instead of paying at the pump? Do you get impatient waiting for the ATM to spit out your money? Do you even bother getting a receipt for your pay-at-the-pump gas purchase? Technology has sped up all sorts of little things in our lives without us even noticing it, but healthcare still relies on doctors writing illegibly with pen on paper. Newt, as an economist, is naturally interested in healthcare for the economic impact of technology. Frist is a doctor, so his interest in healthcare is understandable. Hillary, well, we know she has at least some interest in healthcare, as witnessed by her tag-team act with Ira Magaziner during her husband's first term.

I guess I should be heartened to see political foes put their partisan differences aside and reach across the aisle for the common good. But I'm pretty cynical. Whenever I see Republicans and Democrats cooperating, I have an instinctive reaction to reach for my wallet. And it would be nice to see Hillary spend a little of her Today Show face-time at least addressing the possible security, privacy, and identity theft risks, acknowledging them, and saying that the benefits to public health outweigh those risks.

Yeah, I know, that's way too much to ask.

Jeff [10:09 AM]

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