Looking Backward and Forward: My Summer in D.C. and Fall to Come

After spending three months on my own, working and living in Washington D.C. the most important thing I have learned is the value of communication. Prior to working at WSW, I had never considered the impact of tone on relationships between individuals. The tones’ one use influence how words are perceived by others.

In my personal experience, tone got me in trouble. Let me give some background. My arrival at WSW coincided with the arrival of WSW’s new associate/intern supervisor. Needless to say, she’s incredibly talented, hardworking, and has a bright future in lobbying. However, our working relationship did not get off to a good start. I take full responsibility for that. The strain in the relationship was not a consequence of what I said; but, ┬áthe tone I used and her subsequent interpretation of my response. My tone conveyed a sense of condescension and dismissiveness that I had never considered offensive up until that point. Afterwards, we discussed and resolved the situation amicably. The most important aspect of our conversation was that each of us noted the positive/negative impact of communication or lack there of in our interactions and its effect on our satisfaction in the workplace. This is a lesson that I will never forget.

Looking forward towards my fall internship at NESA, I am excited for more opportunities to collaborate and communicate with others. By virtue of function, my job this summer primarily focused on tasks that were done independently rather than in groups. Additionally, the opportunity to examine multiple areas of interest (Southeast Asia and the Middle East) excites me greatly. This is awesome opportunity to learn, work, grow, and form relationships/friendships that will last me a lifetime.

Now, sitting at home, I want to thank Dickinson College for allowing me to have an amazing experience this summer. Without your generous financial aid, none of this would have been possible.



Health Care, Where We Stand Now

Last Friday, the Senate held a vote on a “skinny” repeal of the ACA. The vote yielded a 51-nay to 49-aye result in opposition to any repeal of the ACA. Essentially, where we stand now is exactly where we stood before, unsatisfied. Now, Americans must consider whether dissatisfaction is tolerable while universally satisfactory healthcare coverage remains elusive.

Rising premiums, high cost of prescription medication, and disincentive to accept Medicaid patients are just some of the reasons why some Americans are calling for another healthcare overhaul.

In my last post, I touched on the reason why premiums are rising, I’d also like to add that as America ages, less, healthy, young Americans will have to offset more, sick, old Americans in insurance risk pools. To be clear, when I say offset, I mean subsidize. The only way to temporarily keep premiums from rising is to greatly expand the risk pool to cover new, young, healthy, policy holders via competition, incentive, penalty, or mandate. As for a long term solution, the government would need to look at a total overhaul of our current healthcare system, but I’d rather not get into that right now.

In regards to the high and rising costs of prescription medication, Congress is currently working on a solution for it. If many of you are wondering why prescription drugs under Medicaid are so expensive its because hospitals and doctors are disincentivized by current federal billing regulations to prescribe anything other than the most expensive medication available for treatment. Furthermore, Medicare and Medicaid are not able to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers and as a result, beneficiaries pay more than they should for their medication.

These are a few of the issues that we will have to confront moving forward, good luck!