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Roger Terry: Why the Republican party will never produce a decent health-care system

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who returned to Capitol Hill after being diagnosed with an aggressive type of brain cancer, leaves the chamber after vote the Republican-run Senate rejected a GOP proposal to scuttle President Barack Obama's health care law, Wed
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who returned to Capitol Hill after being diagnosed with an aggressive type of brain cancer, leaves the chamber after vote the Republican-run Senate rejected a GOP proposal to scuttle President Barack Obama's health care law, Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite, AP

Many years ago I ghostwrote a book for Hyrum Smith, CEO of the Franklin Quest Company (which later merged with the Covey Leadership Center to form FranklinCovey). I was also Hyrum’s literary agent and placed the book with Warner Books of the Time-Warner conglomerate. I still recall one chapter of the book that is relevant to what is happening in politics today.

Chapter 6 presented what we called the Reality Model. This model was not original to Hyrum. It was developed primarily by Franklin Quest employees Jerry Pulsipher and Kurt Hanks. And since there’s nothing new under the sun in corporate consulting, it likely had its roots elsewhere.

The Reality Model proposed that each of us has a belief window through which we observe the world. To quote the book, “On that window is what you believe to be true about the world, yourself, and other people.” The genius of the Reality Model is that it enables a person to evaluate those beliefs. We might call them principles. You evaluate your principles by looking at the results you’re getting. If you’re getting bad results, it is highly likely that one or more of your principles is faulty. As an example, I can assure you men out there that if you believe males are better than females, you are not going to get the results you want. So you go back to the drawing board and rethink things. You can then come up with better principles.

With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the Republican Party is getting pretty awful results. For instance, they have put a man in the White House who is amoral, offensive, incompetent, and who appears to have carried his proclivity for questionable business practices into the highest office in this country. The outcome certainly doesn’t look good at this point.

But beyond this, the Republican House and Senate have produced similar health-care legislation that is yielding terrible results. Polling for the House version revealed support in the neighborhood of 12 percent. And virtually every medical association, from the AMA on down, has come out against the Senate bill. Either of these pieces of legislation would take us back to the dark ages of health care, when at least 20 million more Americans than now did not have health insurance and when medical crises were a primary cause of personal and family bankruptcy.

So, the Reality Model tells us that if our results are bad, we need to reevaluate the principles on our belief window. What principles are responsible for the bad health care results the GOP is getting? There are several, but space limits me to mentioning the main one. Rigid Republican ideology insists that government is the problem and that if government got out of the way and let the market work its magic, everything would be better.

I would suggest that this is a faulty belief. For reasons too numerous and involved to explore in an op-ed piece, health care is not like cellphones, celery or Cellophane. The market does well with certain products and industries. It does not do well with others, such libraries, education, city streets and sewage treatment. Yes, government does some things much better than private industry. Government is not always the problem. Sometimes it is the best solution. Health care is one industry where government solutions are indeed best, again for reasons too numerous and involved to explore here.

We don’t even need to look at the dozens of government-run health systems around the world that simply put America to shame in terms of coverage, cost and outcomes. All we have to do is look at Medicare and Medicaid.

The reason the GOP cannot produce health-care legislation that is anywhere near as good as the admittedly flawed ACA is that they are operating on faulty principles. It doesn’t matter how many times they go back to the drawing board. They will never produce a decent health-care system until they revise some of their basic beliefs. And the one I highlighted here is just the tip of the iceberg. We could examine global warming, damaging deregulation, presidential politics, gun laws, pollution or immigration, and we would find other faulty principles that the GOP should rethink and probably erase from their collective belief window. Just look at the results.

Roger Terry is an editor and writer who resides in Orem, Utah.