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Curing Healthcare (Yes, You Can.)

Posted Dec 06 2008 8:03pm

Many people whom I respect think that healthcare is so huge, beset with powerful special interests, and “broken” that it cannot be fixed, so why bother? You know what a self-fulfilling prophecy is and that is a perfect example. To those who maintain that healthcare is insoluble, I say: Horsefeathers!

We use this excuse all the time. It is too big, too complex, beyond me – I give up. Firstly, NOTHING is beyond us if we want to do it. When President Kennedy said (1960) that we would put a man on the moon, it was impossible: technologically, financially, politically. Nine years later, we did it anyway.

If you need an all encompassing, noble sounding incentive, consider this. Giving up means another 100,000 people will die avoidably next year and our nation will move one inch closer to being broke. If you need a personal selfish incentive, YOU could be one of the 100,000 – in hospital for a hernia repair and discharged to the morgue.

Do not get caught up in the details. Ignore the hype and the self-styled experts making things harder and more complex than they need be.

The only truly insoluble problems are ones we give up on.

Answer for yourself these three questions.
(1) What is causing the problems? Make sure to distinguish signs or symptoms from the reasons for them. You need to cure the latter not the former.
(2) What should [not can] we do to cure the causes?
(3) What is the evidence that the “fix” will actually cure? Logic alone won’t do. That is how we got into this mess in the first place: depending on logic rather than demanding hard evidence. The last thing we need more of is “ fixes that fail.”

Another other key point: fixing systems is an all-or-nothing proposition. The parts of any complex system are interdependent. Fixing one cause-of-problems without fixing the others makes things no better or actually makes them worse!

Finally, the more radical the change, the QUICKER you need to do it. If you take the steady incremental approach, those who oppose the change will nibble away; obfuscate and confuse; give good reasons why you should go slow; and basically prevent the change from happening.

Curing healthcare is possible, but not with band-aids or sleeping pills and certainly not by changing only the financing. A cure requires two things: (1) the right decision-makers – that is us, the Public; and (2) the will to change things. We can cure healthcare and for our own sakes (literally for our own lives), we must.

System MD

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