21stcenturymed.org  21stcenturymed.org

Three concurrent healthcare conferences were held in a
Tri-conference on healthcare in Washington the week of November 29th, 2004.
A keynote panel on Monday was  "Post-Election Healthcare Insights & Implications for the
Next Four Years" with Fmr. House Speaker Newt Gingrich
as a panelist. Another was on "Affordable Quality Healthcare - the
Common Denominator for Consumers, Employers & Providers."
The following are excerpts from Newt's comments.

11/29/2004: WASHINGTON, DC: 
We are not going to talk about one thing that we as a society can't
afford to do.  We are going to spend 20 trillion dollars in the next decade even if we add up and
do everything wrong in the next decade. Twenty trillion can buy us a viable healthcare system that is viably distributed
well distributed and focused on the quality of care that we know how to deliver already. Let alone what we'll discover
in that decade.  The null hypothesis that we can't afford to do it until we know how to do it doesn't hold up economically, or apply at all.

Technology is the wonderboy of all these conversations. Its great fun to talk about, it holds every opportunity as well as
efficiency.It holds the magic but it will never be by itself the answer or solution.
It will inevitably bring about a new array of of complex challenging problems, in which the next gen of tech will have to cope.
There isn't an endpoint to this process.  There isn't a discovery that is a solution.
Technology is set of increasingly integrted enablers that make possible many things which we
know how to do but for which we previously and perhaps even today  haven't had the Political and social
strong will to accomplish.  It seems to me that we know that The secret to most of this is the evolutoin of  a new degree
consumer profession and industry leadership -  the strength to make the right decisions in the presence of
imperfect information.

AHRQ, Kaiser Family Foundation websites show 5 year Institute Of Medicine (IOM) report
showed that 40% of population said quality of healthcare is worse.  Today 55% are worried about the quality of care
they receive.  4 years ago 40% were worried.  You don't need 55% to even become president.
We are almost to the hour, 5 years from the IOM study.  The question is will we listen?
The central role of consumers in this entire set of endeavors...consumers who took that survey weren't being stupid to say
they are increasingly concerned.  they can indeed understand the issues put before them.
It is striking the number of people who continue to refer to  consumers are still reffered to as "they",

As though they were somebody else other than us.  It isn't true.
there is no where to hide. Every major CEO on the big business side of the coin
ends, despite wealth, despite access to information, up still
wanting help for their mothers, their babies, end up wanting help
in that moment of crisis.  There are no safety places to hide.
Whether you are a healthcare professional who becomes a conusmer,
a family member who becomes a patient, a patient who becomes
a caregiver.We are in fact in great need of viewinh and understanding that
that is a circle that will come together and come back to us.
We need to be reminded it isn't somebody else we are talking about.