First Opinion - STAT

First Opinion - STAT

All these responses are so heartfelt. They display our frustration and some of the causes of our outrage (e.g., we deserve it and they don’t, it’s our job to figure things out, asymmetric information is the way of the world so why should this be different, etc.). Maybe “advocating” in the form of Letters to the Editor, to AARP, to our congressional reps, etc., is just not enough. Here in GA, the state supports a network of knowledgeable folks to explain Medicare issues to those who ask; there are about 5 or 6 for the entire STATE, I believe. Maybe other states do as well. But most folks I know on Medicare do not know to ask: they have not heard about that service, don’t understand what it does, can’t get to the local ‘council on aging’ (where that knowledgeable and patient person works). So, what then does “advocacy” consist of? I’d bet that many of us on STAT have run projects in our disciplines managing people and dollars and lives and futures. We have, like Liam Neeson says, “certain talents.” And most of us believe in one way or another we are tasked with caring for others, with repairing the world. We darn well know what we would do if we were getting paid in dollars for fixing this if we were working. Well… Do we now sit and watch? Merely do our scientific observations and calculations and write a paper or two? Folks we know and love are being hurt. We didn’t let that happen in the ER or the ICU when that was our lives. So… what’s the plan? What are the outcomes? How do we get there? How do we know when we arrive? What is the plan? Like it was said 1800 years ago, just because we can’t complete the task does not free us of the responsibility of beginning it.



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