Several years ago, I wrote a St. Patrick’s Day column about the importance of the Irish in the establishment of health care and hospitals in Missouri. The next year, I followed up with bits of Irish wisdom that seemed appropriate mid-legislative session. Today being St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to bring a bit of Irish humor into the serious debate about the nation’s health care system.
An American tourist was driving in County Kerry, when his motor stopped. He got out to see if he could locate the trouble. A voice behind him said, "The trouble is the carburetor." He turned around and only saw an old horse. The horse said again, "It's the carburetor that's not working." The American nearly died with fright, and dashed into the nearest pub, had a large whiskey, and told Murphy the bartender what the horse had said to him. Murphy said, "Well, don't pay any attention to him, he knows nothing about cars anyway."
Like health care, a car is a complex system. If a part doesn’t work as designed, the system can break down. As the repeal and replace legislation moves forward, we need to dismiss the neigh-sayers (sorry), and stay focused on finding and fixing what’s really broken.
Mick stops Liam in Dublin and asks for the quickest way to Cork. Liam asks, "Are you on foot or in the car?" Mick says, "In the car." Liam says, "That's the quickest way."
There are few easy answers in health care. We know from the Affordable Care Act experience, that providing the directions to a better functioning system is more complicated than identifying the system of conveyance.
Father O’Leary walks into a pub in Donegal, and says to the first man he meets, "Do you want to go to heaven?" The man said, "I do Father." The priest said, "Then stand over there against the wall."
The priest travels down the bar to a second man, "Do you want to go to heaven?" "Certainly, Father," says he. "Then stand over there against the wall," said the priest.
Then Father O’Leary walked up to O'Toole and said, "Do you want to go to heaven?" O'Toole said, "No, I don't Father. The priest said, "I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?" O'Toole said, "Oh, when I die, yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go on a trip right now."
The most common toast in Ireland is “Sláinte.” It’s Gaelic for “health.” Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day and Sláinte to you, your hospital and the community you serve.
Send me a note to let me know what you’re thinking.
In This Issue
Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO
CRMC Approves Patient Safety Engagement Plan, Aims For Zero Preventable Harms
MHA Releases Estimates Of Coverage Losses Under AHCA
MO HealthNet Division Announces April Webinar Training Schedule