Imagine, if you will, a world without Big Medicine, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, and Big Hospitals. Imagine, again, that same world with legislators who made decisions based on the needs of their constituents, and not the needs of the Bigs. I know, I am creating a world of science fiction here, but work with me for a moment.
When do consumers finally decide that the status quo - and its currently accepted "standards" of health care - is no longer acceptable? And when will consumers finally choose to take back their health care system once and for all?
The moment of clarity is coming. Consumers will soon fully realize that their health care - quality, access, and cost - is driven by the Bigs. These powers-that-be with huge political action committees promote their own agendas while claiming to do so in the patients' best interests. Meanwhile, costs skyrocket due to over-utilization without transparency, access dwindles while gatekeepers rule the roost and wield the power, and quality suffers when clinical guidelines are ignored.
Some hard questions need to be asked in order for true health care reform to take place. When do health care consumers ...
... no longer accept a standard of care that is a decade behind the scientific research?
... no longer accept the lack of transparency in health care costs?
... no longer accept the power of special interests and Big You-Name-It driving the politics of our health care system?
... no longer accept self referral and conflict of interest scenarios that promote over-utilization and drive up the cost of their health care?
... decide that their health care is a commodity deserving of sound consumer market principles - and that they won't settle for anything less?
But there is hope. Just look at some of the hottest issues of late - Wall Street, gun control, marriage equality, civil rights. When people sense that their individual rights and freedoms are being challenged, what do they do? They become passionate about the cause. They speak out. And perhaps most importantly, they use the power of the vote to promote change.
Isn't your health important enough to evoke the same response?
When do health care consumers just say no?
The time is coming when power and paternalism will meet the voice of the people and the good of the patient. There will be a struggle, and it won't be pretty. But the health of our nation deserves it.
Photo credits: net_efekt