San Diego. A quiet hum of conversation in the room was punctuated by a few laughs and then some nodding heads. Mostly, the serious words, deliberative dialogue, fit the mood of the San Diego Deliberation Network’s Dec. 8th two-hour forum at San Diego City College on Health Care Costs: How do we reduce the cost of healthcare and still get the care we need?
Students and community members worked hard at the tradeoffs of three ways of approaching our nation’s health care costs: Live Within our Means as a country; Healthcare Should Become More Transparent, Accountable and Efficient; and Focus on Wellness. One person summed up his feelings, “The system is out of control in regards to what we make in wages.”
But, there was something else—tables of six plus a moderator took steps toward trusting each other to understand each other’s personal stories about health care and why we’re not done in addressing the problems of health care costs. Note takers filled table-sized sheets of paper with colored markers to capture each table’s ideas.
Ideas generated at this forum and nearly 100 similar forums around the country will be heard by legislators at a May 2016 event scheduled in Washington, A Public Voice. The National Issues Forum, creators of the discussion guide used in this healthcare forum, the Kettering Foundation, and others committed to civil, civic dialogue will meet with the National Conference of State Legislators to present forum findings as the voice of the people. San Diego City College participants’ feedback will become part of the Public Voice report.
The San Diego Deliberation Network will conduct a similar forum on healthcare costs in conjunction with the San Diego Public Library (Downtown Branch) on Saturday, February 6, from 9:30 – 11:30 am. Based on the experience at the San Diego City College forum, the San Diego Deliberation Network is expecting over-flowing feedback forms from the February event to be sent to Washington.
Join the Dialogue! To register for the February 6th Health Care Cost forum, drop a line to Contact@SDDN.org.