Massachusetts miracle.
Article Type: Editorial
Subject: Medical policy (Laws, regulations and rules)
Medical care (Massachusetts)
Medical care (West Virginia)
Medical care (Laws, regulations and rules)
Author: Sporck, F. Thomas
Pub Date: 03/01/2010
Publication: Name: West Virginia Medical Journal Publisher: West Virginia State Medical Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 West Virginia State Medical Association ISSN: 0043-3284
Issue: Date: March-April, 2010 Source Volume: 106 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 930 Government regulation; 940 Government regulation (cont); 980 Legal issues & crime Advertising Code: 94 Legal/Government Regulation Canadian Subject Form: Medical care (Private); Medical care (Private); Medical care (Private) Computer Subject: Government regulation
Product: Product Code: 8000001 Medical & Health Services; 9105210 Health Care Services NAICS Code: 62 Health Care and Social Assistance; 92312 Administration of Public Health Programs
Geographic: Geographic Scope: West Virginia; Massachusetts Geographic Code: 1U1MA Massachusetts; 1U5WV West Virginia
Accession Number: 223908171
Full Text: Once again the founding fathers' confidence in Divine Providence has been justified. Just days after our last issue went to press a miracle occurred in Massachusetts. This bluest of the blue states elected a hitherto unknown Republican moderate by the name of Scott Brown to the Senate seat recently vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy. This one small election has restored some semblance of balance to the Senate. The Obama healthcare express has at least been removed to a siding if not parked in the roundhouse for a total overhaul.

I had always been of the understanding that Massachusetts was controlled by a strong democratic majority. That, after all, is what the media has been telling us lo these many years. In the post election analysis a somewhat different picture crystallized. Independents comprise 52% of the Massachusetts electorate with 37% Democrats and the remainder Republicans. Very different from what we have been led to believe.

At this moment there is discussion of putting healthcare back on the table as early as next week, there is talk of this effort being transparent and bipartisan. I'll believe that when I see it.

Hopefully, they will first decide whether medical care is a right or a privilege. Only after that has been settled can they legitimately move forward with any kind of system reform.

Before they can do anything else however, the flawed SGR formula must once again be dealt with by March first. Once again this will have to be a short term fix only to be dealt with again in a few months. We need a permanent fix and soon!

Hopefully the fall elections will bring even greater balance to both houses. We have good candidates in all three of our districts this year.

Here's hoping the promises of transparency and bipartisanship truly come to fruition.

F. Thomas Sporck, MD

Editor, WV Medical Journal
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