Healthcare: Reform, Yes; but Not a La Lamm
Pellegrino, Edmund D.
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 1994 Spring; 3(2): 168-172.
Richard Lamm is an eloquent and insistent advocate for healthcare reform. In his paper, he argues that if reform is to be effective, a radical metamorphosis in the values underlying our present system must take place. "New realities" have made the "old values" unsustainable. Unless they are replaced by "new values," we face a future of disastrous overspending, gross inequities in accessibility, poorer health for many, and more expensive dying....Lamm's "new" values are those espoused in whole or in part by most advocates of reform. Few would argue, however, with Lamm's rhetorical fervor, self-assurance, hyperbole, and polemic. These rhetorical devices serve well to shake us out of our lethargy. In the end, this may well be his major contribution. But, once awakened by the clarion's call, we are forced to examine more carefully Lamm's reasoning, the conclusions he reaches, and the values he promotes before we take action in so serious a matter as the nation's healthcare.