130913162238-federal-government-shutdown-620xaThe government shutdown is a mess. Our problems may not be quite as great as if we were facing an invasion from outer space, but if we don’t address them intelligently rather than ideologically, the end result will be similar – a tremendous amount mental stress, anguish and pain.

No matter how you phrase them, any trained negotiator will tell you there are roughly four key outcomes to any mediation: lose-lose, win-lose, stalemate, and win-win. 

  • Lose-Lose: Ego’s thwart the negotiating process. Both sides dig into their positions and are unwilling to compromise with each other. In the end, both parties end up losing.
  • Win-Lose:  One side wins and the other side loses. One-side takes all battle.
  • Stalemate: Neither side wins or loses, with both sides are at the exact same place that they started off at. This is a result of not being able to deal with interests and only positions.
  • Win-Win: Both sides walk away with their interests and needs being met.

If House Republicans were successful in defunding the Affordable Care Act, how would one go about actually defunding the ACA?  Would congress request the $149 billion already spent be refunded? Would the US Government require each state to reimburse money already received? How would congress address those workers displaced from healthcare positions? Do computer systems already installed die?

I am baffled the logic of the political system.  It seems neither of the political parties are interested in a win-win solution.  Rather than attempting to fix or repair systemic flaws, a laser light focus is upon win or lose. And it’s only good if one party wins, preferably …. that be me.

In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of government workers remained unemployed, national parks are closed, tourism dollars slip away and politicians take potshots at one another. The shutdown will likely cost the U.S. economy about $1.6 billion a week or $12.5 million an hour. Those are facts, those are real.

Having worked in the healthcare system for the past 8 years, the one thing the Affordable Care Act is that we don’t talk to people and we don’t coordinate their care and they get lost in the health care system. No electronic system in the country will fix that. There just aren’t enough doctors, nurses and medical staff to handle the volume.

But we bicker on.