Grove has ideas for health care

Andy Grove, the former Intel Corp. chief exec and chairman, is frustrated. He’s been pushing for changes to the U.S. health care system — an interest due in no small part to his experiences with prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease. But even though he meets regularly with some of the most powerful people in Washington and on Wall Street, Grove isn’t sure his message is hitting home.

“Do I get an audience with just about anyone I so desire?” he said in an interview this week. “Yes.”

But does he get what he wants?

“Mostly no. My name gets me an audience, but that’s all.”

That’s a sad commentary on the state of health care reform in the United States. Many advocates of change believe that for meaningful reform to take hold, it will have to be pushed by business leaders. In other words, risk-averse policymakers will listen only when there’s serious money involved.

So if a corporate figure of Grove’s stature and background can’t make much headway, what does that say about the chances of lawmakers doing anything significant to address the shameful problem of nearly 47 million Americans being uninsured or of health care costs spiraling out of control?

{Intel’s CEO Andy Grove wants the nation to use electronic health records. He acknowledges hackers would get into our electronic health records but doesn’t appear to know that the real privacy threat to all Americans is the routine and currently legal use of our personal electronic health records by over 600,000 health-related businesses and government agencies without our consent under HIPAA. These uses allow secret discrimination by employers, insurers, banks, credit bureaus, and even schools and colleges. Congress needs to act now to build ironclad privacy protections and patient control of access into our national electronic health system. ~ Dr. Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights}

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