Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell has a prescription for the United States health-care system that takes a page (well, much more actually) from the works of economist David Galenson. That isn’t surprising, since Gladwell is reportedly working on a Galenson-inspired book about conceptual and experimental innovation.
Gladwell says people such as film maker Michael Moore are wrong about how to fix the health-care mess. Many people are mistakenly hoping for a quick fix derived from a bold breakthrough, such as conceptual innovator Pablo Picasso achieved in the art world, he told the America’s Health Insurance Plans’ Institute 2007 last month in Las Vegas. Instead, Gladwell said, we should pursue step-by-step experiments, like those of experimentally innovative painter Paul Cezanne.
“We are in danger of approaching the healthcare problem like it’s a Picasso problem and not a Cezanne problem,” Gladwell said, according to an account in Healthcare IT News.
“With really complex problems, you can’t start with a grand idea,” he said. “You need a trial-and-error method.”
Gladwell called Moore’s movie “Sicko” and its advocacy of a single-payer universal health care system a Picasso approach.
“I’m waiting for a politician to stand up and say, ‘We don’t need a Picasso to solve our healthcare problem. We need a Cezanne,’” he said.