Posts Tagged ‘Garrett Hardin’
Mark Trahant is a Kaiser Media Fellow examining the Indian Health Service and its relevance to the national health care reform debate. He is a member of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and writes from Fort Hall, Idaho. Comment at www.marktrahant.com. His new book is “The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars,” the story of Sen. Henry Jackson and Forrest Gerard.
(Material for this column was originally published in December and March.)Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said: “If you’ve been in government a long time, as I have been, then the most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence. Why is this exciting? Because it’s rare.” When I read the quote, even today, I can hear the late New York senator’s voice booming, his last word full with extra punctuation.
Today, I’m excited for the government. Health care reform should bring nutrition to a starving Indian health system. And, if the next test for health care reform is execution, then the government might be on the right course. President Barack Obama used his authority to give Dr. Donald Berwick a recess appointment to head the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.
This is a choice that exceeds Moynihan’s rareness of competency. Berwick represents the ideal, the one person you think could help the government, the people and the medical profession come together around the idea of excellent health care. Last December, at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement conference I watched hundreds of professionals cheer on Berwick as they would a rock star. This is a doctor who’s willing to talk about what’s really important to people. “Health care has no intrinsic value at all. None, health does. Joy does. Peace does,” he said in December. “The best hospital bed is empty. The best CT scan is the one we don’t need. The best doctor’s visit is the one we don’t need.”
Imagine that. Doctors we don’t need.
Tags: Alaska Native Medical Center, buffalo post, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Donald Berwick, Garrett Hardin, Health care reform, Indian Health Service, Mark Trahant, Medicaid, Medicare, Native American news, President Barack Obama, Science magazine, Southcentral Foundation, Tragedy of the Commons