How Well Do Your Representatives Represent Healthcare?
It’s time to vote. Again. Hooray.
(This blog is a readable version of this week's episode of Take 5: An Inventory Series. If you haven't already, go subscribe on your favorite podcast app or YouTube.)
The reasons to be unexcited about this election are many. Whether you’re unenthusiastic about the choices available to you or so politically invested that every moment you’re riddled with anxiety, it’s probably fair to call this election season “less than ideal.”
But – as we’ve seen the past four years, the past two years, and the past year – politics has a disproportionately high effect on how healthcare is administered in this country. And an even more disproportionate effect on healthcare’s supply chain.
Remember the quaint days when trade wars had the greatest effect on the price and availability of product from overseas? We almost feel nostalgic for that, faced with recent government response to crises in trade, manufacturing, and this tiny little disease you might’ve heard of that’s caused the worst economic environment of our lifetimes.
The situation where we find ourselves – the good and the bad – didn’t just happen. We chose it.
So what can you do to make sure that you’re choosing what’s best for your community – whether that’s the place in which you live, the industry in which you work, or the profession in which you’re connected to others like yourself?
Make sure that your healthcare experience is represented in your representatives. At the most basic level, consider the healthcare professionals who are governing you.
As of this writing, 17 physicians are serving in Congress. The vast majority of them are Republican; so much so that there is no Democratic Senator whose background is in healthcare. Compare that to the 21 Congresspeople who worked in the insurance industry. There seems to be no one who came to Congress from a background in the supply chain. Maybe the next election cycle is your time to shine.
Is your perspective accurately represented in that group? How is that status quo being challenged by the physicians currently up for election? (And that’s just at the national level. Ask yourself the same questions for your local elections.)
If you don’t know the stances and experience of all the people who will be on your ballot – and who does, honestly – there’s a great resource in vote411.org. Get a personalized ballot with information on everyone up for election.
Your votes determine your future. Not voting helps others determine your future for you.
So, if you haven’t yet, get a mask on your face and get your butt to the polls.