Bill Clinton spoke at at 1pm CST on Wednesday at HIMSS ’13, in New Orleans and was sponsored by vmWare. There was a short video about the work that his foundation is doing and he received a standing ovation when he took the stage. This was a crowd that was looking forward to seeing him. Many at the conference who did not get into the theater before 30 minutes before he spoke were not able to get into the hall and had to wait outside disappointed.
He mentioned that “Every system gets long in the tooth” as one of the reasons that healthcare needs a transformation within the US. With much of the healthcare costs attributed to waste and mismanagement. He also spoke about how he likes Blue Button (http://www.healthit.gov/bluebutton).
One of the topics that he said was that many of the things we take for granted such as electricity, clean water and seeing doctors were not available in much of the developing world where his foundation does much of their work. Being able to have patients take care of themselves by being accessible was a key highlight of his speech. He spoke about a Healthcare Insurance executive he worked with in the Netherlands that spoke about how healthcare was for the common good and they did not make money (nor intended to) for providing the Dutch people with healthcare insurance as if he was not able to figure out how to make money in property and casualty on the other side of the industry, he shouldn’t be in business in the first place.
He ended the speech with telling each one of us that we had a tremendous burden on our shoulders in being able to provide access to healthcare for all and being able to achieve that social good.