Nerds once again in control of government

And I breathe a sigh of relief. Working nights my schedule is a tad goofy, but I wake up today to see this guy describing the changes in the new budget:

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This is Peter Orszag the new director of the Office of Management and Budget. He is a nerd and I instantly like him. I was not surprised to find he used to be a blogger.

It was especially refreshing because for too long our government has been run by this guy:
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In particular I agree with their emphasis on health care as a necessary element for creating a viable modern economy. America has to compete with other countries that provide this for their workers, and we have a system that regularly ruins the finances of our citizens. I also agree with it as a moral necessity. Within the last week I’ve admitted several people for whom a hospitalization would result in significant financial stress. I talk about it with them, and they’re terrified. On the one hand, they need help. Sometimes their life depends on it. On the other hand, if they lack insurance a hospitalization can bankrupt them, and they’ll honestly admit, they avoided doing anything about their problems until they become life-threateningly severe because they are they can’t afford the help. This isn’t just stupid system, but immoral.

Additionally the need for reform of redundancy and costs in medicine would be a welcome reform. While the privacy issues with the electronic medical record are significant (I’d love if Chris would comment on this), the obvious need for it is undeniable. I can’t tell you how many times tests, expensive tests, are repeated because of incompatible records systems, delays in record transfer, and, frankly, the fact it’s sometimes just easier to duplicate the test than do the scut to find the answer. The emphasis on evidence based medicine, an attack on redundancy, and improvements in coverage will go a long way towards decreasing the terrible costs to insurers and the government, and terrible financial harm medical care can do to our countrymen. I am excited about seeing how this will be implemented, and relieved that once again we have people in charge who use words like “data” and “evidence” and seem that if there are problems generated by these reforms, they will be receptive to criticism.

Comments

  1. #1 llewelly
    February 26, 2009

    Bzzt! Wrong. The first picture is actually a shot of Obama discussing policy with Dr. Stephen Colbert.

  2. #2 MarkH
    February 26, 2009

    Yeah, and the second is John Stewart in college.

  3. #3 Boris
    February 27, 2009

    Nice to see you posting more, Mark.

    I also appreciate you citing examples of people whose financial security is threatened by soaring health care costs. The right/libertarian wing doesn’t seem to have an answer to that particular problem–apart from the nonsense that those people should have worked harder and made more money. As a result they deny the problem exists–or start mumbling incoherently about “long waiting times.”

    Yes, it’s good to have serious people in charge again.

  4. #4 Zetetic
    February 27, 2009

    Yes – It’s great to have the likes of Karl Rove and other Straussians out of the White House!

  5. #5 D. C. Sessions
    March 6, 2009

    Within the last week I’ve admitted several people for whom a hospitalization would result in significant financial stress. I talk about it with them, and they’re terrified. On the one hand, they need help. Sometimes their life depends on it.

    Tell me about it. I’ve seen parents of a kid who’s A&Ox2 argue that they can just drive him four-plus hours to Phoenix to be seen rather than get a local ambulance.

    NB: Our guidelines are that other things equal, A&Ox2 rates a helicopter to a trauma center. Intracranial bleeds don’t leave a lot of time on the clock.