This past year was a big year. We got:
- A new president, whose name rhymes with “llama” (which is cool)
- A healthcare reform bill (results pending)
- I got to meet a bunch of bloggers (including the South African blogger, Bongi)
- I became a podcaster, joining Grammar Girl’s posse
- Idaho remained in the union despite the underhanded actions of the plumbers’ union
- The long-awaited sequel to Alvin and the Chipmunks (although I too was disgusted by the violence of the fans)
- Oprah was still afraid of me, announcing her retirement from TV.
- Dr. Phil’s badgering phone calls continued.
- I was on NPR, was in Medical Economics, authored the chapter of a book (forgot to tell you), and bought some really comfortable shoes.
- I got stressed-out (although not more than Oprah) and took some time off. People were really nice to me when I did.
So all this got me thinking about the upcoming year, I have a bunch of things that I would like to see – some of them personal, some professional. I am not going to call them resolutions, as I am not in control of some of them (plus, resolutions just beg to be ignored). So here is my wish-list for the upcoming year:
1. Real Healthcare Reform Would Happen
The biggest challenge we faced in the healthcare reform battle was to do so using politicians. Here’s why this is a liability:
- Politicians are not doctors (most aren’t)
- Politicians are not normal patients because they are buffered from the system at taxpayer’s expense.
- Politics is about “winning” and “losing” battles, not serving the public. The way the debate occurred and the final product are both evidence of this.
- Special interest groups, like Pharma, insurance companies, and trial lawyers have more access to the politicians than do doctors and patients.
What would real reform look like?
- Controlling the cost of care would be the first step; anything else is just smoke and mirrors.
- Publicly held insurance companies would not be put in charge of the money (or at least they would be forced to value cost-control).
- A huge push would be made to increase the number of primary care physicians. The 70/30 specialist to primary care ratio is the kiss of death to any attempts at reform. The only way to change things is to change where the money goes.
2. The Influence of Medical Bloggers Would Keep Growing
Med bloggers, including both doctors and patients, are the voice of reality. They represent real doctors and nurses who see real patients. They represent patients with diseases, not companies pitching expensive treatments for diseases. The real discussion about healthcare goes on in our world, not in Washington DC. Growth of our influence would be a real positive sign.
I am not just talking about people from the right or left. I am not just talking about doctor bloggers. I am not just talking about primary care bloggers. All the voices need to be taken together to get a realistic view of things. This is the real “town hall” discussion. This is reality, not special interest.
3. The Hairless Cat Conspiracy Would Finally be Revealed to the Public
The tireless work of the llamas, goats, and dolphins must pay off! Please let this happen!
There needs to be peace in a lot of places:
- Less war – this is a wish that seems remote and perhaps dreamy, but it is my wish and my prayer.
- Less ugly fighting – Washington DC is a good example of ugly fighting. Right vs. left, liberal vs. conservative, those in power vs. those seeking power, all are more likely to scream than to find solutions. DC is only one venue for the shrill; there are examples of scream-fests all over. Can we please stop belittling those we disagree with? Can we please understand that a “no compromise” strategy is really stupid?
- Stronger bonds – families and friendships are hard and take a bunch of time and energy. I find it hard to go after them, falling into myself. I hope for all of my readers that they would find peace in their relationships and give them the time and energy they need.
- Inner peace – perhaps as elusive as world peace, but enough of it would make world peace much more likely. People need to be content (I find rich people are often less content than those of lesser means). We are all looking for it, even if it is just more peace than we have now.
5. The Dugger Family Would Become a Sovereign Nation
As it is, they are draining our economy and spending our healthcare dollars. They are causing our nation to be drained of its productivity as it ponders the state of that woman’s uterus.
Here are the benefits of them gaining their independence and gaining nationhood:
- It would be fun to see if they named every city with names beginning with “J” (obviously “Jerusalem” would be first, but what after that?)
- They would stink at sports, and so we would beat them in every olympic sport (especially rhythmic gymnastics)
- They would be debt-free and could teach our government how to do so as well
- Think of it…a country that isn’t even PG-13. (Not sure if that is good or bad…)
6. 2010 Would End Up With…
- Me being a better man at the end than I am at the beginning
- The Yankees deciding that spending so much money is a bad thing
- A strong economy and no terrorist attacks
- Plum jam for everyone named “Tim”
- Me writing a book (which is in the works)
- Outlawing the term “ROFL” (LOL)