Sunday, January 16, 2011

Will Dropping Partisan Extremism Extend To Health Insurers?

As expected, the Sunday morning talk shows discussed the prospects for less political vitriol and how to improve care for persons with mental illness. The Disease Management Care Blog won't hold its breath for either.

Even if partisan extremists tone it down, the DMCB thinks Washington DC's culture, a 24-7 news cycle and the start of 2012 campaign guarantees that opponents on the right and left will continue to be demonized, reasonable comments will continue to be taken out of context and the news media will continue to be manipulated. The pessimistic DMCB fears a faux-reformed Obama Administration will return to a familiar pattern of portraying all health insurers as evil. If those attacks stop, maybe change has really taken hold.

While we know that being paranoid and socially withdrawn is associated with murderous behavior, it's not that simple. While it's easy to look back and reconstruct how the terrorists succeeded or how an ice cube melted, it is decidedly difficult to look forward and predict a crash or the pattern of a water puddle. While there are identifiable risk factors for violence, using them to construct a "positive predictive value" is unsuitable for day-to-day use. The DMCB doubts even Congress will contemplate screening everyone with something like the Mental Safety Administration.

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