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Fixin' Healthcare

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Insurance Is Not A Health Provider

David Brooks is my favorite political commentator because he seeks the balanced and practical (prudent) approach to problems. And he is willing to say that we cannot be sure about the outcomes of many proposed solutions. In this article he expounds upon Mitt Romney's proposals for Social Security and Medicare. Addressing the Medicare, I agree with Mr. Brooks that the fee-for-service payment system is a central problem for medical care not just Medicare. But don't look for insurance companies to solve that or any other health problem. Health insurance is not a health care or medical care provider and it does not work like other insurance. Sharing risk is a problem when there is no differentiation between health care and medical care.

No issue in the United States is more important and more misunderstood than health. The current concept of health is robbing the nation of vitality and treasure. People fear sickness more than they trust the pursuit of good health. Medical care has usurped health care and public health is relegated to a secondary role. The expansion of medical care and health (medical care) insurance has created an enormous business enterprise with the objectives and values of commerce. That warps health and health care to the detriment of health status. The goal of national health policy must be to achieve and maintain the best health status possible by reducing sickness, disease and disability. In that context medical care is the default system for those who need it, which I propose is significantly less than the current utilization.    

Now, envision a nation with better health status, more vitality and less medical care. That vision would consist of a transformed society. More like we think we are than what we are.


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