Invoke the American tradition and enact a healthcare do-over
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The American Health Care Act may be getting a dose of defibrillation in the form of a round of golf between President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE and Senator Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLexington mayor launches bid for Congress Trump-free Kennedy Center Honors avoids politics Meet the Iran hawk who could be Trump's next secretary of State MORE (R- Ky.) over the weekend at Mar-A-Lago. Such resuscitation is the American way.

Tom DeLay, former House Majority Leader, said recently on NPR that the chief problem with the recent Republican healthcare strategy, was the replacement part of “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act.

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According to DeLay, replacement is a bad word; getting rid of the law and starting over is the only option.

 

However, others said the law could have improvements. John Toussaint, writing in the Harvard Business Review, echoed President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPatagonia files suit against Trump cuts to Utah monuments Former Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report Eighth Franken accuser comes forward as Dems call for resignation MORE’s call to better the current healthcare law by listing the aspects of the current law that work and those aspects that don’t.

The walk away approach cripples change. Do-overs are part of our democracy’s DNA. Do-overs can be a new start or fuel the opportunity to build on an already existing foundation.

Second chances and restarts have historically been the American way.

We have a name for our erasing our mad purchases — buyer’s remorse. The Magnuson-Moss Act of 1873 ensures that the buyer has recourse if something is wrong with a purchase. In Texas and other states there is a legal three-day period to change your mind if you buy something at a location other than a stated place of business.

Home buying allows the buyer opportunities to back — minus deposits. But the original offer may have contingencies such as mortgage, appraisals or inspections.

Retailers long ago embraced the idea that in order to have a new start, you need to be able to get rid of the old one. Macy’s accepts returns for a year.

Most Amazon items can be returned for 30 days. United Airlines has a 24-hour flexible booking policy.Most students take and retake the standardized SAT’s and the ACT’s several times in order to send colleges their best scores.

Even sports embrace the do-over. Completely against official rules, a mulligan in golf is a chance to replay a bad shot. Even instant replay — resisted originally in many sports and still not adopted in soccer — is present in most major sports.

Having a first decision lead to new outcomes is inherent in our justice system. Ninety-four federal court districts are structured to allow appeals to the 12 circuits. Even with all those steps, 7,000 cases make it to the Supreme Court review request system each year. We believe in second, even third, chances to review.

Our government is built on the idea that we can replace or recharge for change. We return people to office while still expecting improvement in outcomes. We may vote people out of office because the replacement seem to be a better option. And the electorate may not be as thoughtful about what they want as they need to be.

The day after the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, the second most-asked google question on the European Union was, “What is the EU?” There were months before where the populace could have learned everything they wanted to know, but, many waited until after the vote to start clarifying an outcome.

But whether we decide to start over or enhance, the American way isn’t to walk away. Americans don’t like pouters or sulkers who won’t continue to play when they don’t get their way.

The defeat of the recent healthcare bill delivered by the President Donald Trump administration to Congress has resulted in both sides resorting to a blame game. But this isn’t a time for walking away, but a chance to embrace what lessons learned and create something better.

When I teach leadership of innovation and growth at Northwestern University, I caution my students against the age-old rebuttal of why a new idea in a company won’t be funded, “We already tried that idea and it didn’t work.”

I tell students that if you tried an idea and it didn’t work, then what did you learn that could make it better next time? Part of the reason scientists make good leaders is that they understand trial and error, risks and increasing success. Even Trump’s Art of the Deal called for multiple approaches to a winning conclusion.

With healthcare accounting for more than 17 percent of our GDP, legislators cannot afford to just walk away from healthcare improvement go onto the next big thing such as tax reform and. When you don’t win, you don’t quit playing.

It seems time to put legislators across the aisle together in a room and provide some motivation for give and take. Offer policy constituents who have stakes in the outcome such as the AARP, the American Medical Association, the American Insurance Association, the Small Business Administration and the National Governors Association, to assist in providing a timeline for creating a workable, improved healthcare law.

In school, we teach teamwork and we reward those who use teamwork to build better outcomes. Government should be held to the same standards as students at least.

Creating good healthcare outcomes isn’t a one-shot game. It won’t be easy or as satisfying as moving on. But it is too important to turn our backs on the need.

It’s time to invoke the American tradition and take a mulligan to enact the healthcare do-over.

Dr. Candy Lee is a professor at The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. She graduated from Harvard University and earned her doctorate in organizational leadership at the University of Pennsylvania.


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