Thursday, October 15, 2009

Don't Get Sick in the First Place

There's is a lot of discussion presently on health care insurance -- while completely ignoring the more vital discussion on the greater meaning of health (and all it implies) -- and if that is not well-defined first, there's no limit to the cost of health care, and therefore the problem spirals increasingly out of control.

If one is serious about addressing any problem effectively, one has to first to get to the root of the problem, and not just treat its symptoms -- which is a large part of today's contemporary health care problem. We treat the 400 lb. person in bad shape for their myriad of health problems, instead of addressing the CAUSE of most of these persons health problem -- in that this person is neglecting their own primary responsibility for their own health and well-being, and in the absence of that care and caring, the situation is hopeless and will consume all the money, time and effort into maintaining that problem -- rather than addressing and eliminating it.

The profit in health care, is obviously maintaining the lives of people in poor conditions and health -- rather than serving the healthy person who seldom, if ever, requires those services -- even to the insistence that one should have frequent, regular checkups.

I've fortunately had doctors who were honest enough to inform me that was not an ironclad requirement for maintaining health -- but told to come in if I got hit by a car or something seriously catastrophic, because there was very little medicine and health care could do to get me in better health that even they thought possible. "You obviously know what you're doing, and can take better care of your own health than we can. But if you get hit by a truck, we can help."

I've actually had quite a bit of exposure and even friends in the health care business because of a lifetime involvement in exercise and conditioning, and then my first job out of college was as a medical research subject as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war, and so I was more than intimately knowledgeable about my personal medical and health profile. I was actually released from that position on the mutual agreement that I was not suited for those studies because I had too many personal deviations from the norm -- including that I had an intolerance to the basic dairy formula before if was discovered that a person could actually have an intolerance to dairy products (lactose). They thought I was just trying to get out of the studies by getting very sick -- and so I spent most of the recreational time everybody else had, having extensive extra studies done trying to track done my other profile deviations, from the typical Mennonite population sample that mostly composed the "conscientious objector" population from which they extrapolated their findings to the general population -- who of course, are decidedly not the inbred population Mennonites generally are.

So I developed a rare insight into the validity of the medical information -- and the methodology and conclusions of studies and research. A generation later, when I thought I had that experience safely behind me and had gone on with life with as minimal contact as I could without a heavy exposure to the health care system, I got involved with "caregiving," and actually was involved in the early labor organizing discussions of that group -- and their issues which would become increasingly critical and even explosive at some future time.

It was clear to me that the increasing reliance on others, including the health care system, was a dead end, and not the solution -- if each and every individual first and foremost, did not become their own primary caregivers -- of that much, I was certain. There is no future in a society in which it takes twenty to care for one -- and that was all that health care system was designed to support.

It had to be one to one, and each doing for themselves as much as humanly possible (what else are we here for?), before even the best designed health care support system could be effective.

That is the reason, I haven't been enthusiastic about better supporting the present health care system -- with their primarily financial concerns. As many have already pointed out, it's all about the money, and very little about health -- and what we are supporting, except the status quo of increased dependency and lack of accountability. There is no money for health -- only health care, and that can become infinite, depending on how many people we wish to support to do so -- unless we can define the terms of health to mean self-sufficiency and accountability.

Then we can talk about these things meaningfully.