Friday, September 11, 2009

Inaugural Post

Welcome readers! Healthcare is such a powerful and complex issue for many Americans. In 2009, it engulfed 16% of the US GDP, and it was the number one cause of bankruptcies in America. If the system continues its course, it will be 20% of the US GDP by 2018 and bankrupt the Medicare trust fund by 2017. Clearly this is a growing issue, but how can we begin to understand it?

The purpose of this website is to explore the healthcare system. Specifically, this is written for our generation (Generation Y) to seek answers to our favorite questions – why and how? Why is it so expensive? Why does it grow so quickly? Why haven’t we changed it yet? Who are the players? What are their roles? How does it affect us? Why should we care? How can we help? While I truly believe we are one of the smartest generations with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, I also believe our generation is ill-informed of the healthcare system. Part of that problem is that many of the resources available are geared towards older generations. We are not big users of the healthcare system – yet. We are healthy and young. If we’re thinking about healthcare, we’re probably either dreaming of the potential advancements 50 years from now or thinking about it from the perspective of a loved one. We need to grow our understanding of the system so that we can make informed opinions.

I spend every day at work learning about the US healthcare system and how it works. The twist that makes healthcare such a complicated industry to analyze and comment on is the political aspect to it. As I start this website, it is the summer of 2009 – the middle of one of the greatest healthcare debates this country has had thus far. Many of the platitudes and anecdotes being espoused in the media have been both misleading and sensationalized. This makes it terribly difficult to sift through the rhetoric in search for truth. My goal is not to convince you into any way of thinking or belief. It is to develop your knowledge base so that the foundation of your opinions stands on well-informed ground. At the same time, through the comments and discussion I hope to learn new ways to think about the system and new viewpoints that I never would have had before.

So here are my pledges to you:
1) I will try to be as unbiased as possible. This means that I will present both sides of the argument in an intellectually honest way. Facts will not be bent or omitted to support one idea or the other. This does not mean I won’t have opinions.
2) I will try to cite credible sources of information where possible and avoid passing off anecdotes as a proxy for real research.

Next Post: What is the healthcare system? How is the government involved today?