GPHA Clouds

Health Reform

It’s Your Choice.

It seems that everyone eats and everyone has some notions about what is good and what isn’t.  It also seems that a lot of people can cook and so have some ideas about the best way to prepare different dishes.  Some people believe some plants are not intended as food and so should never be cooked.  One of my friends would fall into this category with respect to Brussels sprouts.


In this area we have more than several people who are involved in agriculture in one way or another and who have different ideas about how to produce the best crop.  That older friend of mine believes Brussels sprouts are never a good crop in any soil type and has even indicated that liberal application of “2,4 D” is the best way to deal with this menace to the palate (a paraphrase of his words).

Even when we talk about the best cash crop, there would be some discussion about exactly what that would entail on a particular piece of ground, and while there would be a lot of similarity, there would be some variation in ideas.

Another common theme we have is our health.  When we discuss health, one of the problems we have is we may not all be talking about the same thing or the same range of things.  We all have experienced varying degrees of health from time to time and so have our own concept of what acceptable health is and what its’ value is.  Health insurance might not be worth much to you if you have never needed it.  If you have needed it, it might not be worth as much as it costs.  Health insurance might be worth a lot more to you if it helped you when you needed it.

Like eating, like cooking, like agriculture, there are lots of ways to do things in health care.  Some ways are better than others; some are based on value judgments, personal preference, or economic factors.  Health is very personal, and while we at the hospital know this, we have to be systematic to get predictable results – so we choose ways that are supported by research and are accepted as standards of practice.

Reforming health care is at its’ core an exercise in reforming the way we all look at it. We can choose look at it as a right or a responsibility.  No matter what avenue we take to reach health, we take one of these positions – right or responsibility.  If it is a right, we should all get it free (but, doesn’t someone pay for that?).  If it is a responsibility, we should be active participants in how we reach for it (health).

At the same time, no one wants someone to go without necessary care, and that is really the issue.   How do we do that and who pays for (accepts accountability for) that? On one hand, some communities have local public taxes to help with some of this, but a portion of it still creates losses for us.  This is our small local example of what the federal government is working to overcome.  In the end, we have a limited range of options available and have to choose the best one.

At this point, I have to admit that it is pretty hard for me to write about health reform without editorializing on what is going on at the federal level.  To keep from doing this, I am going to recommend that you take a few actions based on a few key beliefs:

  1. Human life is sacred. – some would go farther than that, but I will stop there.
  2. Each of us is personally accountable for our actions.
  3. We are supposed to care for one another.


  1. Take an active role in your own personal health and wellness.
  2. Be an example for your kids as you handle your health.
  3. Plan for times when you will have challenges.
  4. Be active in the nation’s health reform discussion. Write your congressman.
  5. Don’t wait for a big health event for yourself or a loved one to change your behavior if you know it needs changing.
  6. If you like Brussels sprouts, eat them.

These are just recommendations, because you get to choose.

Les Lacy




Les Lacy is a Regional Vice President for Operations for GPHA. If you have questions or comments for Les, email him at

Posted by Aaron Miller on March 3, 2015 in Healthcare Improvement.


One thought on “Health Reform”

  1. Roger John says:

    Nicely done Les. Thanks!

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