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Health Policymakers Acknowledge Influence of Blogs

Yesterday's Congressional Quarterly included an article in which federal HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt acknowledged the influece of blogs in the health policy debate:

The ever-evolving blogosphere is now helping to shape the health policy debate by allowing more interaction between the public and policy makers, said Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael O. Leavitt , a blogger himself.

Leavitt, who launched his blog on the HHS Web site in August 2007, said his entries follow a range of topics, from day-to-day experiences, to his thoughts and decisions surrounding health care issues and policies.

People can post comments on his blog, which Leavitt said has provided valuable information.

“There have been times when someone has made an argument to me that I found compelling that I am sure began to mold and shape my thinking,” he said during a Kaiser Family Foundation event Tuesday.

Interesting to me that Leavitt is a blogger, so his penchant (or proclivity, as you see fit) for perusing blogs may have more to do with their influence on his thinking than would be true for non-blogging policymakers. Still, I note that Supraspinatus has regular readers at a number of state agencies and in the state legislature. If anything, they are paying attention to the fact that we are paying attention. And that's as fine a place to start as any.

Read the CQ article here.

Comments (1)

Paying attention - perhaps, but doing something about it is another story. In this past Sunday's Parade magazine, there was an article entitled "Why is Congress doing so little?" (http://www.parade.com/hot-topics/0808/why-is-congress-doing-so-little) When you read the statistics highlighted in the article (e.g., Congress has passed only 260 laws, 74 of which were renaming post-offices, but have introduced hundreds of resolutions), you wonder about whether Congress is truly listening. Blogs have the potential to be very influential and can serve to reflect the collective voice of the public, but those words need to be translated into action. I, personally, would like to see a bit more meaningful action - not rhetoric and not meaningless regulatory enforcement that serves more harm then good. "Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often." - Mark Twain

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 31, 2008 11:21 AM.

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