In some ways, it seems as though 2010 has gone by in a flash. In other ways, it seems like we’ve lived it in slow motion. But a new year is upon us, and thus, it is the time to make resolutions. Thankfully, our friends in Washington, D.C., have used the resources of www.usa.gov to compile some of the most popular resolutions (www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/New_Years_Resolutions.shtml). Thinking back over the year in health care, I think we have some of them nailed. Others . . . not so much.
First on the list is “Drink less alcohol.” Are you kidding? Were these people present during the 111th Congress? Next is “Get a better job.” Well, I’m not sure about “better,” but if the medical loss ratio (MLR) regulations don’t change, that will be a resolution many of us will need to contemplate. Another resolution on the list is “Manage stress.” If our legislative and regulatory friends would reduce stress by just one iota, it would be a whole lot easier to manage . . . the ball’s in your court, government.
Also appearing on the list are the perennial favorites “Lose weight” and “Manage debt.” To these laudable goals, I offer the following to our friends in the Capitol: You first! We could do with significantly less government and some small attempt at managing debt.
Interestingly, the last item on the list is “Volunteer to help others.” I’ve been around this business for three decades and think I can honestly say that the insurance professionals I know are connected to the community in ways that others envy. Perhaps the best New Year’s resolution we can make is to work harder to keep that in mind. We’ve taken a lot of shots as an industry this year, but we always need to be mindful of the tremendous amount of good we do for our fellow citizens.
To all of my readers, I leave you with this New Year’s wish from Benjamin Franklin: “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.”