Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What Mainstream Media Does Not Report

   Most do know of the governor's meeting in Boston over the past weekend.  Many protesters showed up to show their displeasure with  Arizona trying to handle their problem of illegal immigration because the federal government chooses to do nothing.  Well, business leaders were also in attendance to speak of the recession and the problems of business going forward.  Once again, health care reform is a big concern. 

IBM CEO and President Sam Palmisano is in Boston Friday to give the plenary address at the National Governors’ Association annual meeting, which is underway at the Massachusetts State House. The focus of the session is on health care reform, but Palmisano began his address with an assessment of the current economic climate.
Palmisano said that if this is just a cyclical recession, then the smart money would be on riding it out. “But if you believe that this is a turning point, not only for the United States ... those who look to the future will win, not those who duck and cover,” Palmisano said. He added that he is of the latter opinion.
Palmisano urged governors to think about what will bring people to their cities and keep them there, because peers around the world are doing so now. “The U.S. can use this crisis to take some transformative steps forward,” he said, and that what is at stake is American competitiveness going forward.
He said reforming the health care system is an important component of that transformation.
“When it comes to the health care system in the United States, we have to put system in quotation marks, because it’s not a system, but a series of cottage industries,” comprising insurers, hospitals, doctors and other institutions whose systems are often in conflict with one another, including health information technology systems.
He warned in his speech that if health information remains siloed in isolated islands, we will waste the billions of dollars the federal government has put towards health information technology as part of the federal stimulus.
Palmisano said it’s not about giving doctors i-phones, but about making sure information can flow freely.
He urged the states not to wait for national health reform to act, but to work shoulder to shoulder together now.
“We don’t need the federal government, we can do it ourselves,” Palmisano said.
Palmisano said he was speaking as a giant payer of health care costs, with 450,000 employees and retirees on IBM-sponsored health care plans. IBM pays $1.3 billion for health care every year. IBM is also a software vendor to hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies. Palmisano has previously said that the health care software part of the business is worth at least $4 billion a year.


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