Posted by Sandra Eisenberg
Times are tough. Businesses large and small are shutting down or looking for government hand outs. Will GM and the other auto manufacturers survive? Are we facing a depression?? Job loss is rising and it seems that daily we see new layoffs reported. It is even rumored that Microsoft may lay off up to 17% of its workforce. Link.
I’m not picking on Microsoft, simply highlighting the situation that our economic down spiral is just that — when one thing goes bad it impacts another line of business. . . from the mom and pop restaurants who lose customers, and thus so do their suppliers to the big firms who are household names.
Yet I started this blog saying “Happy 2009” and I really am optimistic. As FDR said so many years ago “All we have to fear is fear itself.”
There have to be opportunities — and with the new Obama administration about to take over it seems there will be a number of attractive areas. Obama has promised global Internet access — so the network providers have a golden opportunity to come out of this downturn quickly. The new administration is also very pro “green” — so if look for environmentally friendly solutions in your field. The other attractive markets?
Government itself as a customer (federal for now, as the local governments who rely heavily on property taxes are “hurting”) and health care. Baby boomers are aging and putting more and more stress on health care. Again, the new administration is very interested in universal health care. Keep in mind that Hillary Clinton, slated to be our new Secretary of State, was in charge of the Clinton Administration’s health care vision about fifteen years ago. Back then I was working closely with the Chairman and CFO at Adventist Health System Sunbelt, and the CFO was on Hillary’s committee. A lot of the visions then (electronic patient records that are patient-centric, not owned by individual doctors) are part of the vision yet today.
Tom Daschle has been named as Secretary of Health and Human Services in the new administration. In his book Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis, he discusses price controls (meaning health care providers need to find a way to improve quality to reduce costs). Daschle is a big fan of Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) which has a two tier approach — everyone has access to a base level of health care and you can pay for private access if you so desire.
Time will tell what the Obama administration will do, but the time to begin exploring how you can take advantage of the new opportunities is now. Welcome to 2009!