Here we are in Boston again for yet another year of swimming the Australian Crawl through the mother of all data dumps from the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute’s annual conference.
WCRI’s first year President, John Ruser, led off the day with a sneak peak at the Institute’s new website, which seems clean and easy to navigate.
Then the fun began. Former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, who happens to be a medical doctor and a Republican, and former Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, looked into their crystal balls to discuss the future, of lack of it, of the Affordable Care Act.
Not surprisingly, the two former legislators had differing opinions, and I’ll bet you can bet what they were.
Coburn opined that we no longer have three equal branches of government, because the congress has ceded its authority to the Executive branch. Waxman bemoaned the lack of bi-partisanship.
John Ruser asked each about “repeal and replace,” opening a ballroom size can of worms. If you’ve been watching Sunday morning television, you know how that went. Predictably, Waxman, the Democrat, and Coburn, the Republican, argued from opposite ends of the spectrum. Each of these intelligent and seemingly reasonable people sincerely believe their position is the right one.
One thing they did agree about was whether the federal government would do anything about workers’ compensation. The answer: No. That discussion morphed into social security disability, with Senator Coburn saying 27 million people are now on the rolls. This is not true. According to the Social Security Administration, less than 16 million people now receive social security disability benefits.
Coburn and Waxman, two rational people, are not going to agree on what to do about the Affordable Care Act. Not even close, and that is a shame.
Colleague Joe Paduda has an excellent summary of this session here.
Tags: healthcare reform