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Bill George
Scholar/Former CEO

Bill George

Bill George is a management professor at the Harvard Business School, the former Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, Inc., and the author of several best-selling books on leadership. His latest release is 7 Lessons for
Leading in Crisis

No leadership here

Q: Having failed to stop health care reform, Republican leaders have vowed to make repealing it their rallying cry in the November elections. What lessons could they draw from political history and the experience of leaders in other fields?

Republican leaders need to stop fighting health care reform and set about to make it work, just as Democrats should stop crowing about a bill that only addresses access to insurance - in itself an important accomplishment - and recognize that we can no longer ignore cost, quality and the impact of lifestyle issues. Lifestyle issues accounts for over half the cost of health care and are growing rapidly.

Instead of continuing to make health care a political football, it's time for our leaders, including President Obama, to get on with improving our health care system. This should begin with a national campaign for wellness and prevention, and the responsibility each of us has to live a healthy life through healthy eating, physical fitness and stress reduction.

Urgently needed is a realignment of the incentives for individuals to stay healthy and rewards for their health care teams for keeping them healthy rather than paying for office visits and procedures. This is the only way we can get health care costs under control, short of a rationing system that no one wants.

Making political hay out of insurance access isn't leadership. And our health care crisis is far too complicated to solve without leadership.

By Bill George

 |  March 23, 2010; 5:32 AM ET
Category:  Political leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Mr George needs to acknowledge, and defend, Michelle Obama's efforts to fight obesity, encourage healthy eating and exercise for children.

If wellness is part of the equation, it's disappointing that most (but not all, for example Mike Huckabee) are silent about her efforts or dismissing and ridiculing them.

It seems like efforts to promote healthy living would be bipartisan, but Republicans cannot bring themselves to support ANYTHING Democrats or specifically the Obamas do.

Posted by: lynne6 | March 23, 2010 1:55 PM
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This comment reminds me of the Wizard Of OZ - the wicked witch is dead. Yes the insurance companies who were taking 40 cents on the dollar from small customers and 20 cents on the dollar from large customers have had their feathers trimmed.

But a lot more pruning has to take place.
Everyone does the administrative aspect for 6% we average 25% -

The next step is to get the food industry under control - you you think that will go down any easier - why is our food situation in just disarray - profit profit and more profit - grass fed cattle - replaced with grain fed - net result - obseity and the rise of depression - the lack of iodine and zinc because of modification to bread cause thyroid and copper overload.
same story - diabetes same story -

Posted by: agapn9 | March 23, 2010 10:13 AM
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It appears that the GOP is not realy interested in the health of the nation. They are now attacking Michelle Obama's crusade against obesity - " I have the right to be as fat (and sickly) as I want to be."

Brilliant. Just Brilliant!

Posted by: DavidinDallas | March 23, 2010 9:03 AM
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Then all is lost. This party is the Don Quixote of leadership. First, it is nothing without a fight - whether communists, WMDs, non-christians or intellectuals. Second, once you attach moral significance to your positions, thought becomes unnecessary and compromise becomes impossible. So rally 'round citizens! Those windmills look very threatening...

Posted by: highland2 | March 23, 2010 7:01 AM
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