Sunday, January 31, 2010

Too logical to succeed

The wrangling over healthcare reform is enough to make anyone sick. It almost doesn't matter what's in those thousands of pages of proposed legislation, there are those who will oppose it, and the current administration, just, well, because.

But think about the premise: fixing a broken healthcare system to bring down costs, expand coverage, and improve quality. It makes sense to me, but then so did the metric system.

In 1975, Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act, declaring the metric system to be "the preferred system of weights and measures for U.S. trade and commerce."

I recently found a guide in my bookcase -- "Metrics Made Easy" -- that must have been written in an alternate universe. Some excerpts:
  • "...change is occurring so rapidly that it seems unlikely any deadline for total conversion will have to be set."
  • "Road signs showing metric distance units are now appearing, and towns that were once 50 miles away are now 80 kilometers away."
  • "But regardless of when and where you begin to notice the change, one thing is certain. Metrication is coming to America."
That was written in 1976. And I'm still driving MPH, watching the pounds on my bathroom scale, and freezing when the temps hit 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Metric was touted as simpler, easier, and more logical than the U.S. system. But the metric ship has sailed, and we missed the boat.

I'm just hoping the same doesn't happen with healthcare reform, because right now the debate is making me more than a little queasy.


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