I’m in New Orleans taking the day off (shhh…wife is sleeping, don’t wake her yet!). Yesterday I gave a talk about Health 2.0 to a very confused looking group of state legislators at the National Conference of State Legislators.
But what was really confusing was the exhibit hall. There was a complete dogs breakfast of interest groups there. The NRA across from the Brady campaign to ban handguns; There were 4 or 5 variations of the humane society, and PETA had 2 booths, one explicitly about cruelty to elephants in circuses, and Barnum & Bailey/Ringling Bros also had a booth (presumably to try to stop legislators caring about cruelty to elephants). The oil & gas industry was next to a big booth of plug-in electric cars. All the right-wing think tanks (Cato, Heartland et al) were spread around, while the lefties (ACLU, Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way) were all sequestered in a ghetto. There were the correctional guys, the taser sellers, and about 4 booths selling ways to put alcohol breath locks on cars. Plus a bunch of companies selling micro-targeting marketing software—all used for targeting voters….not to forget the nudists—their trade association (who knew? or should that be, who nude?) was there and gave me a “naked-nation” pin. Not sure where I was supposed to pin it!
And of course the health care people were all there. Who knew that there are two different masseuse associations (with booths dead opposite each other), and of course the lab guys, the NPs, etc, etc were all there too. There was a mobile optometrists truck put on by an vision care insurer (VPS) which goes to under-served areas giving free eye exams and glasses.
But no prizes for guessing the biggest two booths in the whole
place. One had a full lab testing service including cholesterol tests
& bone density tests put on by the various pharmacy associations
and paid for by the drug companies. The other was a huge mock doctors’
office from the AMA and all the specialty societies. On the side it had
a big slogan about, you’ve guessed it, the need to go after their
common enemy, the lawyers.
So I guess if you want to understand how American politics works, that exhibit hall wasn’t a bad place to be.
Random other link: Organized Wisdom tells Business Week that if you want to get ahead in business, stop showing up to work.
By the way Arizona Medicaid, no less, has done something very
similar—sending all its customer service reps home and reaping big
improvements in productivity.