Healthcare: Doesn't Everyone Negotiate the Deal Before the Specifications are Finalized?

Has this ever happened to you? You have just put out RFPs for a new component and before they even appear in your suppliers' email inboxes the specifications have already changed. This seems to be what is happening in Washington these days. In the House there are currently three separate health care bills in process. In the Senate they are trying to merge two bills. The goal appears to be to pass differing bills in the House and in the Senate and then use the committee process to create one final bill that both the House and Senate could pass. The bills themselves have each changed many times so far and more changes are assured. Some of the changes result in a new scoring by the Congressional Budget Office but some don't. If they scored each one they would not be able to keep up anyway. But the negotiations have continued even though there is no agreement on specifications.

So far all we really know is that the President and his Democratic majorities in the House and in the Senate generally favor a single payer universal healthcare system. But within that seemingly simple statement are a million options and possibilities as well as unintended consequences. Most people realize that if you go car shopping but the only thing you know is that you want a car you will probably be overwhelmed by the choices and options and either go home empty handed or buy something you really did not want. This is the danger President Obama currently faces. He may get a bill passed but will anyone, including him, really know what we are all going to get once it is implemented? To borrow from Forrest Gump, "Healthcare reform is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

Is your organization adequately factoring in the impact of health reform into its long term strategy? To learn how your organization can receive a private briefing on health reform please send an email to

-Lynn James Everard

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