The heavy lifting begins
We're all Atlas's now, charged with taking on the mantle of health reform implementation. Whether we're health citizens, providers, payers, plans, suppliers to the industry or government agencies, our roles in health and health care will evolve over the coming months and years.
The heavy lifting will come in the forms of new payment mechanisms, for some involving bearing more tax burdens, and for others sorting out the logistics of buying and paying for new health plans. More lifting will be required for better understanding and acting on our responsibility as health citizens, to become more informed and smarter about accessing, buying and consuming health services.
For Washington and the states, being Atlas means moving ahead in new ways, designing and promulgating new models for incentivising health-care delivery for providers and utilization among health citizens. Quickly moving toward patient-centered medical homes and electronic health record adoption will drive better outcomes and economics for patients and taxpayers.
The message of personal responsibility so that Americans morph into health citizens, engaging in their own health and the health of the people they care for, can't be understated. There is no implementing health reform or health cost saving without citizens' full-on health engagement.
Even with that, there will be more heavy lifting as the largest single challenge driving up the Federal deficit -- Medicare -- remains to be solved.