Recently while on a return flight home from a business meeting in California, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Dr. Henry “Hank” Foster. Now to some, the name Henry Foster may not sound familiar, but I assure you that to many, the name means quite a lot. On top of being a renowned OBGYN and the only black graduate from his medical class at the University of Arkansas in 1958, Mr. Foster also served as a policy advisor for the Clinton administration, and was President Bill Clinton’s nominee to be Surgeon General in 1995.
To me, “Hank”, as he asked to be called, was my neighbor on a three hour flight who quickly became a friend. I always look forward to the randomness of potential acquaintances to be met by happenstance on a flight – sometimes the randomness can prove to be an annoyance, but in this case, it proved to be an absolute pleasure.
Throughout the course of our brief, although in-depth, conversation, the topic of healthcare, and its current state in the U.S., came up. When discussing not only the ACA, but also the newest version of its replacement, the AHCA, Hank said something to me that I will not soon forget. While he claimed that his statement was an adaptation from something said by Winston Churchill, his comment with regards to healthcare in the US was this: “Americans will almost always do the right thing – so long as they’ve tried all the wrong things first”.