Health Care Reform Is Coming To Town


Last year about this time of year I wrote a parody of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas about the coming of healthcare IT and meaningful use. I decided to make these holiday parody songs an annual event. I figure I have years of material, as there are so many ways of ruining an otherwise joyous holiday gem by mixing it with healthcare and public policy.

This year’s victim, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, was written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie in 1934. The original lyrics to the song can be found here. The song is a little weird because it lets kids know that Santa Claus is watching them all the time like some sort of red velvet-clad big brother machine. If the children aren’t good they won’t get any presents for Christmas, so the song has the extra-added attraction of veiled threat. Kind of reminded me of what’s happening with health reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). For those in the healthcare industry, there is definitely a feeling the eyes of government are upon them. Insurers, employers, medical device and drug manufacturers had all better watch out or the best thing PPACA is going to leave them come 2014 is a lump of coal.

Note: for purposes of this song, PPACA is pronounced PEE-Packa

PPACA Is Coming To Town

The doctors will pout
The Demos whine
The health plans will shout
I’m telling you why
PPACA is coming to town

Hospitals get dissed
By patients checking-in twice
Payers won’t find the profit caps nice
PPACA is coming to town

And all the states are freaking
’bout the individual mandate
Here’s hoping an exchange is good
For the ones health plans forsake

Consumers scream out
“You can’t force me to buy”
Republicans shout
“We’re all gonna die!”
PPACA is coming to town

New taxes mount
On drugs and new knees
Everyone pays
In two thousand fourteen
PPACA is coming to town

Court-watchers doubt
The Supremes can soon find
A way to uphold
And not to unwind
PPACA is coming to town

And CMS is hoping
ACOs will light the way
But CFOs are choking
Bundled payments make them pray

We all better hope
What we get from D.C.
Will drive quality up
And get costs to decrease

PPACA is coming to town!

And in case you forgot the tune, here is a version of the original song sung by the great Frank Sinatra

Happy Holidays everyone! And to all my Jewish friends, sorry about the Christmas song bias…not much you can do with Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel.

Lisa Suennen is a managing director with GE Ventures and former managing member of the Psilos Group, as well as the co-author of Tech Tonics: Can Passionate Entrepreneurs Heal Healthcare With Technology? and author of the blog Venture Valkyrie. Follow @venturevalkyrie

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