October 9, 2019

While going through my files, I discovered three articles about our “healthcare crisis” and the reasons for our predicament. The troubling thing about these articles is that they were written in 1983/1984! That means, ladies and gentlemen, that we have been wringing our hands and decrying this issue and the reasons for it for at least 36 years! During this time, our political leaders and their followers (us) have simply rearranged the chairs on a sinking ship! Today, we are no closer to solving this crisis then we were in 1983/1984.

So, why can’t the most wealthy and powerful nation in the history of the world provide healthcare to it’s people? Every reader can outline the reasons and combinations of reasons why we are in this situation. Surprisingly, the issues involved are obvious. In addition, the solutions to these issues are equally obvious.

I say that the solutions are obvious, not easy or simple. Unfortunately, the solutions will require a cultural change in all of us. The writer of the 1984 article identifies “entitlement” as the underlying cause of our healthcare system issues. He notes that every entity and individual involved in the healthcare system (including the patient) feels entitled. It usually revolves around profit and benefit. Basically, all players want benefit from the system. Why should a non-board certified family physician make over $1,000,000.00 per year? Why should an insured patient pay just $250.00 on a $250,000.00 hospital bill? Regardless of your political persuasion, you must admit that the status quo is unsustainable!

I believe in the “entitlement” assertion. In addition, I would add that the healthcare system suffers from a lack of leadership by our elected leaders and a lack of followership from all of us. I don’t believe that a politician can get elected or retain office by telling the truth to the American people. In addition, we as healthcare consumers expect our entitlement, however, we refuse to embrace the fact that, for any freedom, there exist and equal obligation.

In closing, I want to share a quote by Winston Churchill: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else”. I think we have exhausted our alternatives.