I am going to tell it like it really is. I am going to tell you why we have a huge healthcare problem. You’re not going to like it. And the fact that you don’t want to hear it is exactly why politicians aren’t going there. They don’t want to face the truth, because it’s not pretty, and it doesn’t earn votes. And finding solutions is not really what they do.
The reason we have a healthcare crisis is because, collectively, we are an unhealthy bunch. The reason that these other countries have “better” healthcare systems than ours is because, collectively, they have healthier lifestyles.
We as Americans eat more fast food and sit on our asses more than other countries. And that is a big, big deal. Look, preventive medicine is about lifestyle, not going to the doctor every year. If the doctor has to treat you to get you back on track, that’s a bad thing. Now don’t beat yourself up too much, because as other countries become as successful as we are, they start eating fast food and sitting on their asses too. And they are finding themselves in the same boat. It’s just that they are lagging behind. Seems we are always the trend setters…
If we try to model the healthcare system of other “successful” countries that are only successful because they live healthier than us, we are going to end up with something that doesn’t work, because it isn’t going to treat the real issue. We don’t want that. We want something that works.
So first, we have to change our lifestyle. How do we do that? We change our system of taxation. What?!? I know, as usual, it sounds crazy. But all of these things are interrelated. You can’t just deal with healthcare in a silo, you have to look at the big picture. And the only way to influence people as a population is with money. And that means taxes. And that means the system has to change. But I am getting ahead of myself, yet again (that’s a whole blog in itself…)
The other thing is that we have to realize that our impoverished people – the way that we interact with those in need in our society – that is the very core of all of our problems. We have to realize that as much as we want to say we are not going to deal with people who won’t help themselves, we just are. So we can either do that efficiently and effectively, or we can continue to let them flounder, and allow our inept processes to drag us all down. People in poverty have particularly unhealthy lifestyles, often eating even more unhealthy food, living even more sedentary. Let’s face it, you aren’t buying organic at Fresh Market if you are worried about your water bill. Nor are you getting up early for that spin class at the Y.
Obamacare will not change how we live. A single payer healthcare system will not change how we live. Even cheap medicines will not change how we live. We have to change how we live.
Which means we have to try something new. And yes, that comes back to taxes. And poverty. And thinking outside the box.