According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, with all the issues facing our nation today both foreign and domestic, the one that concerns us the most is still healthcare. What is going to happen now that the personal mandate has been repealed? What will happen if the government decides not to reimburse the insurance companies $ 8 billion dollars related to the ACA health plans? What will happen if the government does not give states $10 billion to create high-risk pools or otherwise help insurers with especially high medical bills? With all that is going on in Congress now, when will they have time to deal with the healthcare issues that concern so many of us? When will they do something to help lower our premiums, co-pays and deductibles?
While these are all legitimate concerns, none of these problems can be “fixed” unless we define what the cause of them are and therein lies the essence of our healthcare crisis. Indeed, the real crisis we face is the adherence to a belief system that accepts the absurdity of continuing to fund our “reactive” approach to disease. It is just not working. To me, “wellness” is the key to transforming our failed healthcare system. Even though Americans spend significantly more on healthcare per person than any other industrialized nation in the world, we are the sickest. Even though our healthcare professionals are the best trained and best equipped in the world we are very unhealthy. Even though the United States is where everyone wants to be for life-threatening medical emergencies or surgical interventions or long-term care, the state of our individual health and our health as a nation continues to deteriorate. Two years ago as a nation our healthcare costs was approximately $3.207 trillion and this past year it was about $3.5 trillion. Where and when will it end? Sadly, our lack of information and understanding of what the body really needs to function efficiently and optimally lies at the very core of this crisis.
Unless we fundamentally change the way we define health -not healthcare- but health itself…unless we each make health a priority in our lives, unless we each take primary responsibility for our own health.…unless the government changes the way it approaches this healthcare crisis…. unless the government (with the assistance of the health insurance industry and our healthcare providers) provides us with the education, support and financial incentives to start making healthier lifestyle choices, we will never be able to get this serious problem under control.