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Ornstein Addresses Health Policy in an Age of "Dysfunctional" Politics


Why was President Obama in South Korea visiting the DMZ? Couldn't he get his driver's license here like everyone else? With our current state of politics, sometimes it seems that the only thing to do is laugh. Norm Ornstein, PhD, one of the opening speakers at HM12 on Monday, had the record-number audience laughing at our current challenges during his opening political comical insights.

Ornstein moved quickly into the history of why our current national government is deadlocked. A shift of population and culture has created a two-party system that no longer has the ability to enact laws that are accepted by the general public. The United States has a system of "tribal politics" that impact the freedom of even rational national leaders.

Bottom Line

1. It will be an extremely bumpy ride during this current political period.

2. Political compromise is necessary to further current ideas.

3. Even when the Affordable Care Act decisions are made and the current election cycle is complete, there will be difficult initial planning years for the future of healthcare.

Dr. Hale is a pediatric hospitalist at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

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