Monday, December 8, 2008

Democrats: Please transition from protest to governing and make real "change"

An example of this is the need for oversight and reform of various institutions that are run by Democratic special interest groups:

Weak Oversight Lets Bad Hospitals Stay Open

SYRACUSE — In March 2004, Sharon Yacketta walked into University Hospital here for an operation to help control her incontinence.

But her doctor, Robert S. Lai, botched the procedure, causing urine to leak into her abdomen. A month later, Dr. Lai and a second surgeon perforated her colon during a follow-up operation at University. Four years and 20 operations later, Ms. Yacketta has lost most of her colon and is still incontinent.
“They messed my life up,” Ms. Yacketta said of her surgeons. “I hope those doctors rot.”
Dr. Lai, who has left University and now practices outside Chicago, acknowledged that he and his surgical team had accidentally injured Ms. Yacketta but said he had not been negligent.
Mistakes happen even at good
hospitals, of course. But evidence shows that University, which is owned by the State University of New York system, is not a good hospital. In fact, in late 2006 a state commission recommended that it be scaled back and merged with another hospital.
The state’s inability to follow through on that plan for University provides a stark example of how hard it can be — not just in New York, but around the nation — to close or shrink hospitals, even when there is evidence they are providing costly and below-average care.
Certainly the evidence against University Hospital was strong. In 2006, patients at University were three times as likely to develop infections stemming from hospitals as were patients at the average New York hospital. HealthGrades, a company that rates hospitals using data from
Medicare, ranks University among the least safe hospitals in the United States — although the hospital’s executives strongly dispute that assertion. University, meanwhile, is expensive to run.
Yet, today, University remains under state ownership. And far from shrinking, University is expanding.

It is much easier to sit on the sidelines and find obvious things to complain about. Or to come out against "cuts" in health care. But the really heavy lifting from our side, come about when politicians at the state and federal level are willing to take an honest look at institutions whether hospitals, schools, etc. and make the necessary changes to make them work as intended. Often, this means closing them down and starting over.

What often happens is that people get into good jobs and they use their most energy trying to keep and secure their positions and authority rather than advance the original purpose. Most of this is not concious, but is rather a natural outgrowth of bureacracy and big government.

We need a big government to do many things, but this should include shutting down bad programs, finding models that work better, and always promoting individual freedom wherever possible.

There should be a constant vigilance by the government at all levels to promote equal access, great service, and encourage healthy choices.

As Democrats we should take ownership of the system, and become dedicated to improving the actual actuals through a free market as much as possible.

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