By Gerry Clum | October 20, 2009
Remember the movie Disclosure? It starred Michael Douglas and Demi Moore and was based on a Michael Crichton effort. The premise was simple: a guy gets a new female boss, she sexually harasses him, the employer defends her and attempts to get him by keeping him focused on a sexual harassment issue. All along he gets anonymous e-mails encouraging him to solve the problem…as it turns out, they were trying to sack him for incompetence.
Reminds me of the present situation with health care reform…the allegations “death squads to get gramma, free coverage for illegals, government bureaucrats making health care decisions, say no to the public option for insurance etc., etc.” Solve the problem.
The problem is not about insurance coverage…50% of the people who file bankruptcy for health related reasons HAVE coverage. The problem is not about government becoming involved in health care…the U.S. government is the largest purchaser of health care services on the planet – Medicare, Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Community Health Centers, training of over 50% of all U.S. medical residents occurs in VA funded facilities. It is not about care for illegals…legal or illegal, present to an emergency room for the most expensive care in the most expensive setting and you get it.
Solve the problem…from McClatchy Newspapers under the byline of Carrie Peyton Dahlberg comes a big heads-up on what the problem is…”If you want to see dramatic changes in health, you’re not going to get there even by doubling the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system.” Richard Kravitz, M.D., UC Davis…”…the benefits of medical care to populations are a little bit overrated…medical care contributes somewhere from 10 percent to 25 percent.”
Solve the problem…”When taken all together, the other factors that play a bigger role include education, income, toxins in the environment, crime, violence, family structure, stress, obesity, nutritious foods and exercise.”
Bottomline: Health reform is like trying to sweep back the tide with a broom. It will NOT yield a healthier population, it will not improve the economics of the non-provider population, it won’t reduce the health-related bankruptcies. It will pour more money and human resources into a bucket without a bottom.
Solve the problem…today, as always in the U.S. relative to health care, we are superb at symptom control – mitigating the underlying problem yielding the symptoms is another story.
Strategies: Social policy that creates an environment that makes it easier and more cost effective for the individual citizen to make the right choice. For example: Tax anything with high fructose corn syrup in it to the hilt and obesity will drop precipitously! We all use seatbelts. This was not the case 50 years ago. We can change behavior with policy. Creativity to move individuals in the direction of better choices and policies to make those choices the better economic alternative will do more for American health and well-being than anything ever patented by big pharma.
Another component of affecting real change relative to health care reform is the needs for fundamental change in what we do, as individuals, to improve and maintain our own health. If nothing else changes in health care other than who pays the bill, how to get into the system and how to get out, then nothing is going to change for any of us. Many of us adopt a position that we are not accountable for our current health and believe that it is our genes that determine our overall health and assume no responsibility in the deal. This is fatally flawed thinking. While it may be the case for a very small percentage of the population, ninety-five percent of the conditions in our lives are determined by what we do, what we eat, what we think, and how we behave. By correcting that misconception we can do more for health and well being in the United States and around the world than any pharmaceutical that has ever been created.
Across the board, we need to help our society continue to move away from the idea of a “pill for every ill and potion for every emotion” attitude. As individuals, we need to take responsibility. The answer, as we have always asserted in chiropractic, is inside. Change what we do, change what we think, change how we behave, and change how we eat. Unfortunately, many people become scared because they think ‘I have to become a marathon runner’ or ‘I have to become a vegetarian’. Make tiny incremental changes. Do a little bit today, tomorrow, next week, and next month; in the course of years, that person’s life has changed dramatically.
Solve the problem…get involved in your life, become aware of your choices, and take responsibility in small meaningful ways. Affect health care reform today. If each one of us affected such change in our life, the cumulative effect on the health care system would be revolutionary.