Archive for November, 2009

What are the issues in the US Healthcare Policy?

November 4th, 2009

The issues associated with the current healthcare legislation are long and complex. However, there are a few simple topics that are at the heart of the matter.

I would like to present a few of them here, and open up this post for your thoughts and perspectives.

To begin, I would like to recap the three basic goals that President Obama made in his September 9th address:

1) To provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance.
What this means: a) it will be against the law for your insurance company to drop you because of a pre-existing condition, b) insurers cannot place an arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage in a year or a lifetime, c) a limit will be placed on out of pocket expenses, and d) insurers will be required to cover, at no extra charge, routine and preventative care.

2) Provide insurance for those who do not have access.
What this means: a) if you loose or change your job – you’ll be able to get coverage, b) small businesses will get tax credits to offset the costs of providing insurance, c) a new insurance exchange will be created to assist individuals and small businesses have access to affordable insurance and d) individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance (similar to auto insurance) – provided by themselves or through their employers.

3) Slow the costs of healthcare for our families, businesses and government.
What this means: a) the President will not sign a bill that increases the deficit to fund these programs, b) most of the costs of these plans can be paid for by savings within the healthcare system itself, c) reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicade and d) revenues from drug and insurance companies that will benefit from millions of new customers.

Now what does all this really mean? Can we do it?

A big part of the problem may be if Congress can act in a bi-partisan fashion and implement a roll out of this plan in the current economy. This is no small act.

Additionally, how do you pragmatically change the system without healthcare professionals becoming nervous?

How does this really effect the small business owner and, as stated above, the individual who will be required to obtain basic health insurance. And just what is “basic health insurance”?

I do not think anyone believes that the system can continue to operate like it has done over the past 20 years, and that reform is much needed.

I’d like to open this forum up and have our community provide perspective and constructive feedback on the goals of the White House.

Thank you in advance for your time and comments!

Our Community

November 1st, 2009

Our office is in the Village.  For those few who may not know, the Village is an area of about 20 square blocks located between Kirby Dr. and Rice University and University Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard.  We moved here so we would be close to our client base (the institutions of the Texas Medical Center).  We can be in our clients offices in 10 to 15 minutes which is just one of our measures of responsiveness (we’ll talk more about responsiveness in future blogs).  But as we’ve learned, there is more to the Village than just being close to the Medical Center.

The Village is an eclectic collection of shops, restaurants and businesses.  There are just enough national brands so it feels a little like a shopping center but the best part is all the locally owned and operated little shops and restaurants.  There is one of the last Dime Stores in Houston where you can go and re-discover your youth or help your children find the toy that will become the foundation for the best of memories.   There are restaurants like Bistro Les Amis where the food is excellent, the wine is memorable, the proportions are just right and the atmosphere is very French and you can enjoy it with friends and still have enough money left over for  some shopping or maybe a Rice University football game.

There is more to The Village than its proximity to the Medical Center, the food and shops.  We love it because we can just walk to lunch or dinner or go shopping; or just walk around to reduce the stress of the day.  By walking we get to experience the sights and sounds and yes even some of the smells of a real Village.   There are very few alleys and back doors so Village life takes place in front of the shops and restaurants.  You may see today’s fresh vegetables being delivered in a BMW or witness the give and take between fish merchant and chef.

By walking, we reconnect and experience the busy, real and larger life of an entire community.  We understand we are part of a community.  We depend on others to help us get through our days and they depend on us.

If you stay in your car and just drive around searching for the perfect place to park you’re going to miss most of the charm and interest of the Village; you’ll miss the opportunity to be part of a community.  So our advice is to walk to The Village or park as soon as you can and then walk; become a part of our community.