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Brooksby panel takes on health care—live

Created date

October 27th, 2009

While millions tuned in to watch President Barack Obama address Congress on the matter of health care reform this fall, many were also watching a related discussion at Brooksby Village. A panel of ten people who live at Brooksby was featured on a live broadcast of the New England Cable News Network (NECN) following the President s address. Our community here really represents the community as a whole, says Philip Herrick, M.D., who lives at Brooksby and is the liaison between residents and the community s medical services. [There are] those who are very wary of any change in the health care system, and others who feel very strongly that there should be changes. Examining the cross-section NECN reporter Latoyia Edwards interviewed some of the panelists before the discussion was set to begin, and following the address, NECN broadcast live footage from Brooksby and two other locations. Most of the panelists had a chance to respond to specific questions from Edwards, who gathered opinions on all sides of the table. There s no doubt that we have to change the way physicians are reimbursed, and there has to be some incentive for physicians to make their treatment more cost-effective, says Herrick, who practiced internal medicine and cardiology for 35 years before working in medical administration for another ten years. Herrick advocates for physicians using more evidence-based medicine, meaning they often allow accepted protocols to dictate their treatment. These are things that are going to have to be agonizingly worked out in the future, he adds. For Warner Smith, a panelist involved in resident advocacy and political television at Brooksby, his hopes rested in seeing more cooperation among members of Congress. I m very hopeful and anxious that something gets accomplished. The President s speech did a lot to ease the doubt that some people have, and he seemed to show that he s willing to give somewhere along the line, Smith says. Though not all voices on the panel converged on the best solution for health care ills, all agreed that the meeting was amicable and enjoyable, both for the discussion at hand and the behind-the-scenes look at the making of a live news program.