Answers are out there


Congressman Robert Aderholt’s listeners at last week’s chamber of commerce breakfast heard more about the views of Republicans and those of Democrats on the subject of healthcare reform than they did on the likelihood the two parties will reach a meeting of minds on the thorny questions reform involves.

Aderholt was not met with the raucous belligerence that’s marked many town meetings over the country. Maybe that points to Blount Countians’ courtesy, or general indifference, or perplexity, or lack of confidence Congress is going to take any action anyway.

Too bad all U.S. senators and House members aren’t closely examining the pattern set by the world-renowned Mayo and Cleveland clinics and a handful of others across the United States that are improving healthcare while reducing its cost. Their secret? Coordination and delivery on one campus of all the treatment the patient needs by teams of doctors who are not paid by the procedures they order but as physicians employed by the hospitals.

Of course there is no single answer, but many knowledgeable people working from different directions have much to offer that, if considered objectively and not politically, could offer solutions to wildly spiraling healthcare costs and the devastating lack of healthcare of thousands – millions? – of Americans.

How about looking for ways to deliver better healthcare at less cost to all people, excluding none, instead of trying to prove which political party is shrewder and more powerful?

– mh