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Announcing the Outstanding B.A. Moment in America Award

This month the O.B.A.M.A. award goes to the American Medical Association, for one of the most enlightened public positions on change I have ever heard articulated. The President of the AMA, speaking about HR 3200 (the evolving health bill in the House), said:

“It’s a solid start to achieving health reform this year that makes a positive difference for patients and physicians. The status quo is unacceptable. So let me be clear – without a bill that can pass the house, there is no health reform this year. But the debate is far from over. The AMA is going to be at the table to improve the final legislation….To the physicians of America I say – together we are stronger. .And to the patients of America I say – we are working to make the health care system better for you.”


Just THINK about the implications of this statement. Even though the health care bill is not perfect (the AMA has specific concerns about tort/malpractice and Medicare payment rates) they are backing a “risky” CHANGE PROCESS, with their eyes on the greater good.

How many of our societal institutions have “Unacceptable Status Quos”, yet persist in resisting change processes? In case my kind readers think “unacceptable” is too strong of a word (my readers would always offer the benefit of the doubt, no doubt), I offer the following buffet of “status quos” that resist scrutiny and possible change.

  1. The immense social and economic costs of enforcing “Prohibition” against marijuana, and treating hard drug addiction as a “moral” problem instead of a personal medical one.
  2. The strange fact that in the supposedly freest country in the world, we incarcerate more people than anyone except China, which has over five times our population.
  3. The insistence on “free market” processes in the face of the fact that no such thing exists, and the track record of its passionate supporters includes two Depressions plus world class executive performance bonuses in the middle of the second.
  4. The vanishing of journalism and its accompanying ethics.
  5. Ongoing economic discrimination against women, minorities, foreigners.
  6. Basing policy on (and destroying our economy because of) a terrorist stunt, statistically rare, and nowhere near as harmful as cars, cigarettes, alcohol, cancer, even bathrooms (yes, bathrooms kill).
  7. The persistence in emphasizing time and cost over quality in American endeavors (no one is less surprised than me that GM has “failed”).
  8. Taking 12 ounce drinks from airline passengers, because of the potential “danger”, and then tossing them into garbage cans in the screening area.

Remember, sometimes the emperor really has no clothes – now is a good time to speak candidly about the value of change, the process of change, and to be honest about the risks, even as the risk of not changing increases.

Rather than dwell on the negative, I ask my kind readers to send me THEIR examples of an Outstanding B.A. Moment in America, for publishing here!

Have fun, and submit your comments below.