The truth is that all I really want to do today (Monday, Nov. 5, one week After the Storm) is consume other reporters’ media and search Twitter until I feel as if I understand what’s really happening on Staten Island and the Jersey Shore. Can the situation really be THAT bad? Why are they taking so long to let people look at the wreckage of their homes? Is it true that search crews are still finding bodies in some areas?
But life lurches on. There’s an election tomorrow; I have to remember it and make myself go vote. My polling place in Jersey City is very luxurious. It has heat, electricity from a power line (as opposed to a generator!) and, as far as I know, no evacuees sleeping in it. (At least, not officially.)
It hit me today that I somehow turned my company-provided Twitter feed, at LHPro_Health, into a feeble Hoboken and Jersey City storm commentary and consumer information service. Somehow, I have to shift away from trying to tell people that discount stores in Jersey City actually have AA and AAA batteries, and working ATM machines, to using it for the intended purpose and tweeting about health insurance and related topics.
Chances are that tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of people in the Northeast will go the polls tomorrow, marvel briefly at the presence of heat and electric lights (and, if they use the restroom in the church: hot water coming out of the faucets!!!), then go into voting booths and stare blankly at the voting machines as we try to remember what an Obama is, what a Romney is, and why we might take an interest in who senators are.
On Wednesday, we’ll try to cover the implications of what the election results will mean for health care.
If you’re reading this very late Tuesday, or later, you already know a lot more than I know right now about who will be in the White House and who will control the office space in the House and the Senate.
It hit me that, for the U.S. health finance system, the results won’t really mean that much.
The results might be helpful or annoying for health insurance agents. At least the Romney people wouldn’t act so snotty about the idea that someone who’s out to make a profit might be a good, helpful, caring person. But Romney says on his website that he, too, likes the concept of health insurance exchanges, even if he hates Obama’s exchanges. He, too, would (will, if you’re reading this and he’s won) probably help insurers and consumers put the screws to producers.
And, really: When are folks not trying to put the screws to producers? Producers continue to survive because they’re clever, nimble and indispensable, not because anyone ever wants to pay them.