Retake the High Ground

July 1, 2000

Retake the High Ground

We arrived at the turn of the century with a great paradox. A paradox created by ourown disjointed approach to healthcare delivery. On one hand, we have created tremendousnew medical technologies and knowledge that has far advanced the quality of medicine andhealthcare. The great university and medical school system that has evolved in the past100 years has minted the best and brightest caregivers. Science has created innumerableadvances. The creation of antibiotics has forever improved our welfare, health, andlongevity. Our wealth as a nation and a society has created ways for us to afford theseadvancements. People everywhere have truly benefited.

On the other hand, during the past 25 years, we have gradually turned over thehealthcare system to insurance companies. How we have forfeited the delivery of medicineto the financial businessmen and insurance companies has been documented at length but isstill unclear. When was the last time you thought about going to see a nurse or physicianfor financial advice? This makes little sense to most of us. Yet, we virtually go tofinancial analysts at the insurance companies to determine whether we will undergo aneeded medical treatment.

Forfeiting the control of healthcare delivery has created many financial and medicaldilemmas. During the process of the forfeiture, we have pushed much of the financialburden of healthcare costs to employers and let the government at all levels fill in theblanks. Isn't it clear that while we took our eye off the ball, someone else in athree-piece suit saw the windfall of opportunity and seized it for themselves? Well, maybewe weren't looking when the forfeiture took place but now the situation has our attention,and the lines are being drawn.

Perhaps you have already given up and surrendered control. Perhaps you are thinkingabout fighting for the right result. It seems to me that this year's presidential politicscould create the right climate for turning the tide. At the core of the notorious softmoney debate are insurance companies and the healthcare industry players.

Our best insurance policy for guaranteeing quality healthcare for everyone is to besure that doctors and nurses--caregivers of all kinds are placed back in control ofmedical treatment. The best insurance policy is one we write for ourselves. Let's chooseto place medical professionals back in charge. As a society, let's choose to providequality healthcare to those of us who truly can't afford it or are not covered properly.Let's choose to retake control of healthcare. We have the national wealth to give properhealthcare to everyone. Tell the presidential candidate of your choice about your choiceto be back in charge of healthcare. In the end, we can't afford to do anything less.

Craig Burr
Publisher



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