Originally, the phrase “ups-a-daisy” was uttered by parents as an exclamation when tossing a child playfully into the air or when encouraging him to get up after a fall. Nowadays, we often hear it as “whoopsie daisy” or “oopsie daisy,” and it means, in today’s vernacular, “my bad.” Recently we heard a version from President Obama that sounded more like:
“With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan, you can keep it … there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate. …That’s on me. And that’s why I’m trying to fix it.”
[CLICK HERE to read the press release, “Statement by the President on the Affordable Care Act” on WhiteHouse.gov, Nov. 14, 2013.]
It would certainly appear that the most recent implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has resulted in some unintended consequences, such as large-scale insurance policy cancellations and website glitches. But among the swirl of debate and political litany concerning the health care law is this idea of public apologies by those in a position of authority. It does stand to reason that, with the recent focus on business and governmental transparency, an apology and/or the public acknowledgement of blame and accountability would be appropriate.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Presidential Apologies: Regrets, They Have a Few” on NPR.org, Nov. 8, 2013.]
[CLICK HERE to listen to the program, “The Art of the Apology” from KQED Public Radio, Aug. 13, 2013.]
As far as health care implementation is concerned, it’s probably a better idea to claim some responsibility as the head honcho rather than make excuses and assign blame elsewhere. It can make for a political conflict but offers the opportunity to solicit ideas for a better solution. In other words, the apology in itself delivers a political jab of, could you do any better and — if so — why haven’t you done it yet?
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “GOP sees Obama’s Apology as a Fresh Chance to Smack the President” on MSNBC.com, Nov. 14, 2013.]
When considering the future of the health care programs that have launched as part of the ACA, perhaps we should examine a bit of history. The Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law, which was passed when Governor Mitt Romney was in office, is considered the basis for ACA.
However, the Massachusetts version also was considered evolutionary, not revolutionary. Its facilitation actually spanned about 15 years, first prohibiting insurers from denying, limiting or rescinding individual coverage — or charging higher premiums — based on a pre-existing condition, and later moving to tenets mandating universal coverage. Part of its success has been based on the state’s willingness to try new programs and adjust them in the future. The implementation involved experimentation, monitoring progress and encouraging feedback from all stakeholders. In other words, one big ups-a-daisy after another.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Massachusetts Health Care Reform Experiment: A Success,” on JAMA.com, Oct. 31, 2012.]
Given the process of its Massachusetts predecessor, we might consider the merits of working harder to evolve the current legislation into something that will work for the majority of Americans now and into the future. After all, it’s not clear that anyone has instituted anything better — except, perhaps, the state of Massachusetts.
When it comes to our own finances, we don’t give up. We keep plugging away, learning from our mistakes, and trying to make better choices in the future. After all, it’s not like we have the option to simply give up and start over again.
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