Grass Roots Campaign
Reforming a Health Care System
How do you measure the success of a health care system? Here are potential benchmarks: Fewer cases of autism, cancer, ADHD, and the countless other diseases that are on the rise. Higher test scores in school. Really, wouldn’t it be thrilling to see Americans become healthier, happier, more brilliant, and effective? What would this place look like? More smiles, older smiles, joy in the eyes of young people. Those would be a rewards beyond measure. That is what Transfer of Health is all about.
An online search of “health care reform” promptly displays the US Department of Health and Human Services web site. The health care system is getting better. So is HealthCare.gov. The tag line below the header goes on to say, Take health care into your own hands.
There is little doubt that the government is doing what it can to better a limping health care system. It is also safe to assume that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others in the medical profession dedicate their lives to helping people heal because it is their passion. Let’s go even further to project that those in the field of complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) also work tirelessly to help people become and stay well.
The other side of the coin is a glaring truth that we can choose to ignore, or we can fan out on the table as cards dealt in abundance. Like a game of UNO that we are losing – our human hands fumble to precariously hold the cards that keep piling up. This truth is: for every segment trying to help, each sabotages their ability to do the three things that should be the primary goals:
Three Keys to a Positive Health Care System:
1. First do no harm.
2. Heal the human.
3. Maintain excellent health
Is the sabotage deliberate? Let’s ust say “no,” and move on. Whether or not it is true is irrelevant to truly changing the health care system in America.
My daughter is an eighth grader who struggles in her American History class. Whether she deliberately forgets to complete an assignment or not, her grade is affected simply by whether or not she turns in her assignments. She and I review her grades often, and if her grade is lower than a “B”, it is only important that we collectively change our course, thus (theoretically) changing the end result. Although she is the one who needs to change her pattern, we help her set the course, hold her hand on the path, let go slowly and subtly, and keep encouraging her as she walks off into the sunset (at which time her dad and I will enjoy a glass of wine together to celebrate).
Good, we have the “blame game” out of the way. Moving right along . . .
The US Government
As sweet as it is that our government tries so hard to be everything to all people, is it fair to say that our government is incredibly ineffective at running the pieces of the health care system it has taken on, albeit on our behalf? It seems that Americans are pretty sick, in general. Most people are tired, busy, overweight, sad (or anxious), lack concentration, and find it difficult to live to their fullest potential. Many suffer from backaches, headaches, other pains, sleeping disorders, and think it’s normal. So, in my opinion, the answer is a resounding YES.
The government’s answer to an improved health care system appears to be this, in the words of the US Department of Health and Human Services: finding insurance, learn about prevention, compare care quality, and understand the new law.
- Finding Insurance Options Health insurance, and the equivalent. The web page says, “See which public, private and community programs meet your needs.” There is a search tool that asks you questions and guides you to options.
- Learn About Prevention Under the Affordable Care Act, many insurers are required to cover certain evidence-based preventive services at no cost to you. Learn how to keep yourself healthy and prevent disease by visiting these pages from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. This page also includes links to the Live Well, Learn How, the government’s healthfinder.gov site built on many topics we’ve been taught since 5th grade health class. Also linked here is the well-known, and very popular Let’s Move campaign web site.
- Compare Care Quality The Affordable Care Act is designed not just to control health care costs, but to improve quality of care as well. The Federal government is creating tools to allow people to compare a variety of quality measures of care provider. This page currently has links to compare the quality of hospital care, nursing home care, home health care, and dialysis facility care.
- Understand the New Law The site provides a summary as well as documentation to the new law. Some reference is made to the old law, but very little. Much of what is provided up front references to ways to the price of and paying for services within the current health care system.
It seems like a plan to a very popular approach. This method would likely be a very effective one, assuming “more of the same” is the best course.
Doctors vs. Alternative Care
Have you mentioned the supplements you are taking to your doctor? What does your chiropractor, or other alternative care practitioner think of the prescription you just got for allergy medication? Let’s go out on a limb and say it. Most (not all) of the medical community is visibly disapproving of complementary and alternative medicine, and most (not all) of the CAM community suggests some sort of conspiracy theory about the medical system and our government. It’s sad, really. Especially considering we all agreed at the beginning of this article to assume both groups are committed to healing people. That must hurt to be hated, whether you are on one side or the other.
Let’s Dig even More. Who are you?
- All American The government, doctors, dentists and hospitals are usually right. They have all the evidence they need to tell me anything and I believe them. Health insurance is the most important aspect of the government’s health care system. I and my children have received every vaccine recommended, and get our flu shots faithfully every year. I have tried at least 3 diets to lose weight.
- CAM Fan My Health care system consists of a chiropractor, nutritionist, acupuncture, massage, supplements and yoga. I juice every day and eat vegan, raw, macrobiotics, and/or some other specialty diet. My kids have never received a vaccine. I also go on a cleanse on a regular basis.
- Hybrid Health The health care system is a mess. I’m not sure what the best course of action is. I respect that a lot of regulated science backs medications and practices of our medical community, but I still don’t believe that sugar doesn’t make kids hyper. I believe the body can heal if it is healthy. Food should be our medicine and medicine our food, but it is sometimes (hopefully rarely) necessary to take prescription medication and/or go to the doctor. I’ll make the best decisions possible with the chaotic information I am provided.
In a sense, these categories are exaggerated. You will probably notice that in many ways, they are DOWN played. Deliberately omitted are the venomous attacks often levied by the “All Americans” and the “CAM Fans” towards each other. None of the three are evil, none are perfect.
A Health Care System Solution
We (you and I) are the most valuable and crucial ingredients in solving the health care issue. What if it were true that by combining Traditional care with Complementary and Alternative Medicine, TCAM, our bodies could become well and we would maintain a high level of health? It would be empowering to do so, and would be great to still be loved by our doctor without feeling like we are cheating on him/her.
Here is What it would Entail:
- Act on Education:Thanks to the web, anyone can learn anything for free. Helping people ACT on what they KNOW is going to be the number one key to truly reforming the health care system. Having said that, there is so much to learn, so much information to sort through.
- Dump taboo. We must keep an open mind to concepts that may be new.
- Use discernment. Your instinct is a valuable tool in determining your own health care, and the health care of your family. Don’t urn it off when you’r making choices about your well-being.
- Be careful who you listen to. Are you taking advice from someone who is where you want to be? If the person taking your blood pressure is overweight and sick often, he/she may not be the best wellness mentor for you. Healthy people are great role models.
- Understand science. All sciences are a study. Doctors practice medicine. All any of us are doing is guessing most of the time – nothing is for certain. A formal word for proof should not necessarily discount other, informal words for proof.
- Cost: It is always less expensive to be healthy than to treat sickness. Always. Organic food is best, but more expensive than non-organic. The purest, best supplemental program may cost more than cheap vitamins (or no vitamins at all). However, a regimen of pain relievers, doctors visits, and prescriptions for antibiotics are far more expensive in the long run.
- Resources: Weeding out people, professionals, products, tools, and other resources that work, and are friendly to the ultimate goal provides everyone with a level playing field for wellness.
Idealistic? Does it seem impossible? So what. Let’s do it anyway.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that I am NOT a medical professional. The information found within this site is simply my opinions based on my own personal research and experience. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise routine.