One of the serendipities of the courses I teach is that often the news is filled with real life examples of the theories and concepts we discuss in class. Such has been the case this spring in my Leadership Development course. We have been studying the process of individual, organizational and social change for the last two weeks as the Health Care Reform bill went through the final stages to completion. Last week we discussed John Kotter’s Eight Stage Process of Change. Like any theory or model, Kotter’s model is far neater on paper than in real life. Yet as we have seen the health care reform become reality, we have seen the wisdom of Kotter’s analysis.
Step 7 in Kotter’s model is “Consolidate Gains.” In essence what the model suggests is that just because a change has been made, that does not mean that the forces of resistance won’t continue to push and fight to turn back the change that has just been enacted. So for those who have worked for change (or for that matter, worked against change), it should be no surprise that the anti-health care folks are still fighting. Even now Republicans are vowing to make health care repeal an issue in the fall. I am with President Obama when he says “Bring it on!” I want to see the candidate who can justify being against providing health care to students, unemployed workers, and young children. Oh they will find a way to make it sound like Obama has instituted communism, but go ahead make your case.
What is more disconcerting is the 12 Attorneys General, including Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, who are suing the Federal government for infringing on their state’s rights not to provide health care. In Pennsylvania, Corbett is running for governor, so this is his platform. Outgoing Democratic governor, Ed Rendell is cooperating with the Justice department against his own attorney general. These indeed are strange times we live in! As a Pennsylvanian, I am embarrassed and outraged at Corbett’s moves. However, it reminds me that the change enacted last week is not consolidated. So the work must continue, and indeed we all should contact our legislators to ensure that this landmark legislation is not undermined by some Republican lackeys for the health care industry.