Yahoo: 36,147 people tell Hillary Clinton what to do

Can a 'conversation' win the presidency?

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is identified as “A Celebrity on Yahoo Answers!” 

She has been a member since September 29, 2006 and she is at Level One with 96 points. Since Clinton announced her candidacy last weekend, however, she is noted to have earned -3 points the past week. 

Clinton seeks to engage voters in a national “conversation," as I report and analyze in “Social media conversations: Talking or selling?" She is nevertheless listed at Yahoo Answers as “User does not allow IM.” and “User does not allow email.” 

As part of her national “conversation” aimed at winning the 2008 U.S. presidential election she posted a question on Yahoo Answers last Wednesday: “Based on your own family’s experience, what do you think we should do to improve health care in America?” 

While First Lady under the two term presidency of Bill Clinton and as a two-term Senator for the state of New York, Clinton has sought to set national health care policy.

President Clinton formed “The President's Task Force on National Health Reform” in late January 1993 to "prepare health care reform legislation to be submitted to Congress within one hundred days of our taking office" and appointed Hillary Rodham Clinton to head the task force. In May 1993, the Clinton Health Care Task Force was disbanded. 

On June 16, 2005, Senator Clinton, along with Senator Bill Frist, introduced the "Health Technology to Enhance Quality Act of 2005" to create “an interoperable health information technology system through the adoption of standards that will help reduce costs, enhance efficiency and improve overall patient care.”

This legislation marries technology and quality to create a seamless, efficient health care system for the 21st century," said Clinton. "By creating national interoperability standards, we will give health care providers the confidence that an investment in health IT is an investment in the future.

According to The Library of Congress, no progress has been made on the proposed legislation:

S.1262  Title: A bill to reduce healthcare costs, improve efficiency, and improve healthcare quality through the development of a nation-wide interoperable health information technology system, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Frist, William H. [TN] (introduced 6/16/2005) Latest Major Action: 6/16/2005 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Over 36,000 Yahoo Answers contributors are hoping for progress in the health care arena and taking Clinton up on her solicitation for advice on what to do. A sampling of advice put forth is below.

Ambercombie:  “i would have to say, free health care to all. When you become our first woman president, you’ll help make a difference.”

Brit: “well for starters it could be easier to get, and less confusing with less paper work to fill out. that would definatly help”

Tee M: “Do for us what you would do for your own family. Make healthcare simple and affordable. The health of an individual has the potential to affect the health of an entire community. Think of the ramifications of a communicable disease that is left untreated because the carrier is intimidated by the current system or can not afford to get treatment. It doesn't matter where you live, or who you are, we are all at risk.”

Mary T: “My first answer would be that people in general need to take more responsibility for their own health and not continue bad habits and make unhealthy choices then expect doctors and other health professionals to perform miracles to undo years of unhealthy living. Yes, there are drugs to treat diabetes, but there are also healthy ways to eat and exercise which make a big difference in insulin resistance. There are lots of pain medications out there for arthritis and headaches, but there are stretching exercises and endorphin releasing meditation as well that may help many people. We can do things to relieve stress, lose weight, fight high cholesterol, avoid toxins, get proper sun protection, rest....a myriad of things that could assist us in improving our health if we would take the time to do it on our own, but we would rather wait until the doctor tells us that this is what we "have" to do to "get better" or this medication is what we have to take to get cured. We rely on doctors when we should first rely on ourselves.”

JKat: “Make doctors fully accountable for their customer service practices. Force doctors to work together across their fields of specialization in order to more effectively troubleshoot patients' conditions instead of working in isolation from one another. Make healthcare affordable for all Americans and introduce more internationally-based models into the system to improve it.”

Big Bully: “What ever idea you do, there will still be those people who will abuse the system. An example will be trips to the ER for a cold or sniffles.”

Matt W: “Do not let insurance companies dictate which medicines are preferred. Let the doctor decide, he must surely know better than a coporate conglomerate.”

MELANIE: Health Care is so expensive. I just heard on the news tonight that many Clinicians/Doctors are giving Patients a 50% discount on their bill, if they pay immedately in CASH. This tells me that most of the expense in HEALTH CARE comes from COLLECTIONS or NON-PAYING customers. Something should be done ~ so that we PAY for the SERVICES we GET and not for those WHO DON"T PAY or for the COLLECTIONS.

It would be much fairer that way and prices wouldn't be so outrageous for the procedures and care we do get. Thanks for asking Senator Clinton.

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