Americans pay a fortune for health care- at least those who have coverage, yet we get sicker each year with chronic diseases such as diabetes, autism, ADD, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraine headaches, obesity, osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease driving costs even higher. Those who don’t have coverage are paying dearly as well, loosing everything they have or every dreamed of having.

Problems with the current model:

1.The system is weak, poorly organized and serves those that can pay.

2.HMO's routinely deny care and pressure doctors into providing insufficient care.

3.Many doctors are quitting medicine due to high malpractice insurance premiums that often exceed $100,000.00 per year.

4.The unemployed are often uninsured.

5.One of every seven Americans is now uninsured and many are under insured.

6.We have yet to incorporate preventative measures into the overall practice of health care. Preventative measures like massage therapy, fitness training, yoga and nutrition are not routinely covered in traditional major medical plans. Having been part of the health care provider system, I don’t pretend to have all the answers, or think that this is not a very complex problem.

7.And last but not least, we are taking less and less responsibility of our health rather than more.

Goals we need to achieve:

1.Reduce the total amount that families pay for health care including insurance premium.

2.Educate families on how to choose the safest, most effective and least expensive solutions first.

3.Provide at least partial insurance reimbursement of a wide range of health care treatments including Chinese medicine, yoga, fitness training, herbs, nutrition and others while still retaining traditional western medicine for when it's appropriate.

4.Teach Americans a proactive approach towards health.

Some thoughts/solutions:

1.Some politicians want to tweak the system claiming their plan will save us billions of dollars. Others want a single payer system similar to Canada's socialized medicine.

2.Start now, don’t wait to create a plan for my family's health, at least until we understand how to fix our current health care system.

3.Don’t head to emergency room with a child that has the flu and a high fever- call their pediatrician. When patients such as these show up and are not in need of true emergency medicine, hospitals should redirect them to an available step down unit there the walking wounded can be treated in a scaled down clinic like setting.

4.We’ve got to start somewhere so stop giving lip service or being critical of countries and programs that are trying to provide insurance and services for those in need. Or, if you do actually have an idea, why not get involved?


If you would like to read more check out the recent independent studies done by The California Nurses Association. Till next time, Rebecca