How did we get here? To this broken place. This place where we can save lives of those who just 10 years ago were hopeless. This place where the cost of a life saving medication is $600. (It does take years of research and clinical study to bring a drug to market but — $600 really?) This place where executives at health care companies earn bonuses of $400 million an up. This place where still far too many are without basic health care. The answer may be simpler than you think. The answer is us. We hypochondriacs demand an MRI or CT for every ache and pain we wake with and then we expect our insurance company to pay for all of it because we pay a premium and demand service. We demand of our doctors and nurses unnecessary tests and medication because we think we know better because of something we read on the internet or saw on TV. Then we turn around and sue them when we don’t get the relief we expected. We are the ones who demand our 90 year old bed bound father with dementia be dragged to dialysis 3 times a week not to improve his quality of life but to satisfy our guilt for all the time we didn’t stop by to have a beer or help him work on his car or make sure the house got painted.
It is abhorrent the money we spend on unnecessary health care. We need to learn to live with some aches and pains. We need to focus our care on curing those illness we can, for those who will benefit and provide compassionate and full end of life care to those who’s suffering will be extended and not relieved. We need to focus on prevention of disease that is environment or lifestyle caused while working on the keys to unlock genetic codes to the rest. Heart disease, hypertension and diabetes are just three examples of genetic and environment/lifestyle caused disease. All three will lead to other long term illness such as kidney disease ($7 Billion of the total $20 billion medicare budget is spent on End Stage Kidney Disease) and will over a lifetime cost the patient, family and society millions in care that could have been prevented had we met the lion at the gate in childhood. Children need activity that promotes a life long joy to explore and wander our world. Children need nutrition that feeds not only the body but the soul. Food that is as close to its original form as possible. We need to eliminate food deserts in cities by encouraging community gardens and bringing more fresh food and less fast food. It shouldn’t cost less to feed your kid a happy meal that to make them a nutritious tasty meal. We need to teach parents that preparing a healthy delicious meal can happen in less than 30 minutes and in less than 3 pots. We need to involve our children in the preparation of our meals.
We need to move to eradicate disease we have a cure for in impoverished areas. Poverty is not an acceptable excuse for disease proliferation.
We as the healthcare community need to take responsibility to deliver quality, effective and fiscally responsible care. We need to weed out the quacks and incompetent practitioners and profiteers if we want to end the over-regulation of the medical community. We need to be able to spend more time caring for patients and less time practicing to meet a government agency metric. We, the providers, need to be setting the standards and to practice in such a way that the minimum accepted is not the optimum achieved.
tldr: It is in US to fix our broken healthcare system.