I’m a huge admirer of Paul Levy, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess, but I can’t pretend I’m in a position to judge the merits of his objections to Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal to cap medical costs. (Although I do think Levy makes some good points.)
My main reason for posting this is to call attention to the ongoing media revolution made possible by the Internet. Old story though it may be, I think this is an unusually relevant example, and we shouldn’t take for granted the power to talk back:
- The Boston Globe reports on Patrick’s proposal. For whatever reason, none of the reporters chose to quote Levy.
- Levy writes what is essentially an op-ed piece in almost-real time, without having to wait for days and be subject to the Globe’s editing process.
- Levy also links to another account that he believes got it right: an editorial in the Boston Herald.
As for influence, Levy’s blog, Running a Hospital, gets about 10,000 unique visitors a month, according to Compete.com. Obviously the Globe’s circulation is much larger. But how often do you read guest op-eds? Yeah, me too. Levy may well attract as many if not more readers by posting on his blog than if his piece had run in the Globe.
One thing I’ll point out, and, frankly, Levy should have: he is supporting Patrick’s main rival in the gubernatorial contest, Republican Charlie Baker, former head of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Levy no doubt thinks that fact is well-known, especially among the specialized audience that reads his blog. But disclosure never hurts, and it often helps.