Donald Trump is leading in the polls and could become the Republican nominee and maybe even President. He has not been specific on healthcare. I asked Scottish-Canadian-Californian healthcare futurist Ian Morrison to conduct an interview with Trump, figuring that Morrison would have an in with Trump given Trump’s praise for Scottish and Canadian healthcare. Not entirely coincidentally Ian is my old boss & mentor and will be a keynote speaker at this Fall’s Health 2.0 conference–Matthew Holt
Ian Morrison: Thanks for making time Mr. Trump, I was asked to interview you on healthcare because I am Scottish and your mother was a Scot.
Donald Trump: Yes she was, a beautiful person. I love Scotland. I own Turnberry, the best golf resort in Europe. I built a magnificent new course near Aberdeen. The Scots love me, I get along with the Scots.
Morrison: Actually, Mr. Trump, with all due respect, they think you are a bit of an asshole and were offended when you told them not to build a wind farm off shore from your new golf course because you thought it would spoil the view for your American visitors.
Trump: (Angrily). Look, the problem with the Scots is they don’t win any more. When was the last time you won…Braveheart, right? When was that 1800 or something?
Trump: See. Losers for 800 years. So don’t talk to me about the Scots winning.
Morrison: So why did you point to Scotland and Canada as good examples of healthcare.Continue reading…
Ian Morrison is a health care futurist. Companies, trade groups and nonprofits call on him to speak about trends in health care and offer prognostications of what the future brings. I’ve heard him speak a few times and his knowledge and sense of humor drew me in right away.
Last Friday, I tweeted a story written by Anna Gorman and Julie Appleby,friends at Kaiser Health News about hundreds of thousands of consumers receiving cancellation notices from their insurance companies on account of the Affordable Care Act. I was surprised to learn that Morrison was one of them.
I emailed him to find out more. This is what he told me: Until 2011, Morrison paid for his health coverage from a company on whose board of directors he served. The company was sold and he was insured through COBRA until this March. As he tells it, Blue Shield of California “didn’t want a badly behaved 60 year old Scotsman,” so he got coverage through a preferred-provider organization offered by the insurance company Health Net through a Farm Bureau program.
“No kidding,” he says, he’s no farmer.
Two weeks ago, he received a letter canceling that plan for reasons similar to those cited in the Kaiser story. He subsequently applied for coverage—not through Covered California, the state’s new health insurance marketplace, but directly through Blue Shield. Because of the Affordable Care Act’s ban on discriminating based on pre-existing conditions, the insurer must take him.
Here’s a Q&A I had with Morrison by email (edited for clarity with his approval).
“I want your Ugly. I want your Disease
I want your Everything, as long as it’s Free.”
—America’s leading contemporary philosopher, Stefani Germanotta (aka Lady Gaga)
Insight comes from unlikely sources. Lady Gaga nailed the health reform dilemma. We have a healthcare delivery system that is an orgy of profligacy and excess that offers the false promise of making ugliness, disease and death all optional. And, we the public love all of it, as long as it’s free, at least to us as individuals. We want high tech, high quality, high expectations met, highly trained professionals delivering high standards, paid by someone else. And the magic fairy that will pay for all of this? Health insurance. Give everyone an insurance card and they can have their everything and it will be free, or close to it.
But wait, isn’t the cost of insurance tied to the costs of care? Doesn’t the sum of all healthcare costs for a covered population (plus administrative costs) divided by the number of people equal the premium. Doesn’t the premium come out of my pocket as taxpayer, employee or individual? How can I have everything, as long as it’s free?
Short answer is: you can’t.
We are caught in a Bad Romance with healthcare.
Editor’s Note: Ian Morrison today makes his first contribution to THCB. Ian was President of Institute for the Future where I learned my health care consulting trade in the 1990s. A more amusing boss one couldn’t have hoped to have and he never minded me (or half of health care) shamelessly stealing his jokes–although his Scottish brogue always gave them a zing none of us can quite match. Ian’s now a full time speaker/writer/futurist and he gave THCB his view of the health care debate, interpreted logically through the lens of Monty Python’s Flying Circus–Matthew Holt
Now we are down to the really fun part of healthcare reform, when they actually write the final bill and figure out ways to pay for it. And to honor the 40th Anniversary of Monty Python’s Flying Circus’s debut, Congress and the Administration have entered the silly season where final policy is turned into law.
I love the American healthcare system, not because it is the best in the world, but it is the funniest. The laughs keep coming. Here are a couple of my latest favorites.