We in the news media are disaster mongers — just in case you have never heard that blindingly obvious observation.
Give us the choice between reporting on something good and something bad and we will jump on the bad like a dog going after a table scrap. Obamacare is an immediate case in point. The new healthcare plan is experiencing glitches, all the media are reporting. Wait times are long at the websites where applications can be filed. People do not understand the new plans. Businesses are confused and concerned about the possible consequences of the new law.
All that doom and gloom dominates the news coverage. Meanwhile we have yet to see coverage of some of the less dramatic but more positive changes being initiated along with the new law.
The PR people at Rutgers just sent out a release on the restructuring of a primary care practice in New Brunswick into a “patient-centered medical home,” where medical providers will “share information and work with patients to closely coordinate care.” Known as the Robert Wood Johnson Partners and affiliated with the RWJ Medical School, the group is expected to include 30 or so primary care practices and 500 specialists in the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group as well as clinicians at the RWJ University Hospital and the other hospitals within the RWJ system.
The Rutgers press release told the story of one woman who just experienced the new “medical home” environment. After a hospital stay the woman made a follow-up visit at the doctor’s office. When she got there, much to her surprise, the doctor had all the information about her illness and treatment at his fingertips.
“I didn’t have to go through the whole thing again: why I went in, what happened,” the Somerset resident reported. “You know the information you usually have to retell, it was all there. My doctors in the hospital communicated and all the care was coordinated.”
Her husband was also pleasantly surprised to find that his cardiologist and primary physician had access to the each other’s observations. “I feel very comfortable knowing that I have two doctors working for me who are both on the same page,” he was quoted as saying in the Rutgers press release.
We at U.S. 1 know that most of our readers and most of the companies in our circulation area will feel minimal impact from Obamacare. Most of us already have health insurance and most companies already offer it. But for those who don’t have it or don’t offer it, health care has always been a dark cloud hanging overhead. Would-be entrepreneurs have been reluctant to plunge into new ventures because they have been afraid of losing health insurance that the big companies offer. Small companies with limited or no health care coverage have lost good workers to bigger companies that offer more.
We invite those of you who are affected by Obamacare, for better or for worse, to share your experiences. We will update our readers when appropriate. Please send your thoughts to our editor, Richard K. Rein, firstname.lastname@example.org.