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Fixin' Healthcare

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Uninformed Are The Last To Know

To say that society and government failed to protect health in America might not be fair but it is accurate. It might not be fair because a series of policy decisions created and enlarged a medical care system with the intention to protect health. Chief among these are The National Institutes of Health, Medicare, Medicaid and the health manpower acts of the 1970s. The consequences are a population that fears sickness and disease more than they trust the pursuit of good health and large entrenched business enterprises that focus on sickness and disease. It is a mind-set that fails to master the lifestyles and behavior patterns capable of preventing some, if not most, of these diseases. According to World Health Organization data the U.S. ranks below most European countries for health status of the population. However, as European countries adopt elements of the U.S. lifestyle, the incidence of obesity and chronic diseases increases. Americans need better insight and different support to achieve the best health status possible.

There is a story about a man running to catch a bus that left on schedule without him. When he is unsuccessful in his chase, his comment is that he didn't run fast enough. The retort of a bystander is that he didn't start soon enough. Medical care deals with all the alternative ways of getting the man to his destination. Perhaps he will be on time but most likely he will be late. Health care deals with all the ways of getting the man on that bus including starting sooner and the capacity to run faster. On time and ready to go or late and trying to catch up; those are lifestyles. In the book Watership Down, among the rabbit warren kept to provide food, the rabbits were the last to know.