America – Heal Thyself: Thoughts on Improving our National Health
By: Rick Rawson, HC2 Strategies and Partners for Better Health
The polarization and divisions within our country that have been exposed by the current election cycle are manifestations of the disease that has ravished our communities. The continual increase in healthcare costs reflected in the recent premium hikes for the healthcare exchanges should tell us that attempts we are making to “fix” problems are not working or addressing the root causes. Healthcare costs are symptomatic of much deeper problems at the community level where the breakdown in connections and collective accountability are finding voice in the focus on leadership that will “fix everything."
There is no leader, no matter how charismatic, that can piece together the broken pieces in our communities. A new approach is needed that reconnects communities through conversation and shared accountability that can bring about real change. We need to focus on and connect the gifts, talents and possibilities in people rather than to keep trying to fix their problems.
This is especially hard for the healthcare industry to embrace. After all, our expertise has been problem oriented. Doctors diagnose sickness, they identify problems and have built professions around fixing those problems. They decry the fact that often patients demand to be “fixed’ when things go wrong but do not take personal accountability for their health by continuing destructive health habits. We have years of experience that should inform us that the current trajectory of more spending is not substantially improving the health status of...
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