|Eight Views on Andrew Weil's Seven Recommendations for True Healthcare Reform: Major ND Response |
"John F. Kennedy spoke these words in his inaugural address
on January 20, 1961:
'And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask
what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what
together we can do for the freedom of man.'
"How does this apply to health care
reform? In the health care debate the question is often asked: 'Is
health care a right or a privilege?' In line with President Kennedy
here is a third option: 'Health care is an obligation.'
"We are obligated to and owe it to ourselves and to our families to take care of
our own health. To eat right, to exercise right, to get enough sleep, to find
healthy options to relieve stress, to stop smoking, to drink alcohol in
moderation, to develop healthy relationships, to work to maintain an optimal
weight, to ensure optimal conditioning prior to engaging in sports, to wear a
bike helmet when riding a bike, to wear a safety belt when in a car, to follow
scientific-based prevention guidelines best suited to you as an individual, to
make one’s health a priority, to develop and manage a health care related
budget, and so much more.
"Health care is an obligation...
Living up to these obligations
alone could significantly improve
the health of
communities and lower the cost
of health care more than any
option currently on the table."
"Living up to these obligations alone could significantly improve the health of
individuals and communities and lower the cost of health care more than any
reform option currently on the table. Living up to these obligations could
literally change the world.
"Beyond the personal obligations articulated above we also have obligations to
identify barriers to good health, to identify the root-cause of these barriers,
and to stand up in community to break these barriers down.
"These barriers include, but are not limited to:
- Environmental barriers to good health such as pollution, chemicals in our
foods, food production techniques, and more
- Political barriers to good health such as the politics of stakeholders in the
health care system (insurers, politicians, providers) worrying more about
themselves than about the greater good of the community
- Financial barriers to good health such as balancing the inability for some to
afford high-quality, value-based health care with the human need to give, to
earn, to be needed, and to be honored
- Reimbursement barriers to good health such as primary care physicians having
to generate 25-30 or more relative value units (as patient services are
referred to in the health care world) per day (clearly not based on the good of
the patient) and physician practices having to make up financial shortfalls by
ordering more and more ancillary services and driving up the cost of care
- Other access related barriers to good health such as cultural, language,
education, limited number of high-quality physicians in rural areas, and more
"We have voices, we have our energy, and we have our obligation to stand up, to
get involved and to make a significant difference (and not wait for our country
to do it for us).
"What can we do for our country to significantly improve the health of
individuals and communities? Much - starting with living up to our obligation to
take care of ourselves and our families and our communities."
Thomas Dahlborg, Executive Director
True North: Maine's Center for
Functional Medicine and the Healing Arts
Comment: What would be the product of a summit that explored the intersection of personal responsibility, integrative practices, and public policy? I suspect most of Weil's suggestions, and much recommended in these comments, would make the consensus statement.
7. Mary Klifman: First, corruption reform, then healthcare reform
Lifman takes up the theme of extending Weil's recommendations, only she focuses
on the people who need to pass legislation and urges a first step to
health reform as "corruption reform."
Weil's Health Care Call to Action is by no means all inclusive in what is
needed in our health reform bill, especially in that it omits the countless
oversight issues needed to halt the criminal machinations
of insurance co's and big pharma's gouging drug prices. But I think it
offers a brilliant start to what is needed regarding the paradigm shift in
our treatment modalities from our present allopathic system toward integrative
Comment: Ultimately, in our system, "corruption reform" will be in place when we have a sufficient industry of health creation that the health creators and wellness businesses and organic growers have such a system of lobbyists and special interest groups that these become the influencers. Corruption reform is relative. Success is measured by the extent to which one's own kind do the influencing and "corrupting."
on, how EVER do we get from the ugly sausage-making style of
disputes now underway in Congress that presently looks as though the new
health care bill may possibly set our real purposes back rather than
forward, all the way to Congress acknowledging the need for
holistic medicine being integrated into primary care! As long as our elected
officials FROM BOTH PARTIES are in the pockets of big biz, our efforts will
"But how do we get from the
ugly sausage-making style of
disputes now underway in Congress
all the way to Congress acknowledging
the need for
holistic medicine being
integrated into primary care!"
"I wish that
someone like you could keep us all up to date regarding EACH AND EVERY ONE of
our reps' and senators':
1) history of
campaign contributions from big biz and
"I go to my
representative's sites and flounder around trying to glean such info, and can
seldom get anything relevant. They tell us what they think is politically
expedient and omit the rest. It's only when we all have such information at
hand that we can really begin to put the pressure on congress with our phone
calls and especially with our vote. I'm disappointed to sound so cynical,
but I believe that no
meaningful health care reform can occur until we do something regarding
congressional CORRUPTION REFORM. And the American constituency needs
help in making sense of who's really doing what in congress on all fronts
relevant to this in order to try to 'clean house' in Washington!
2) history of
votes on every relevant bill that's come before them.
media is not doing much that helps with this, and I know of no grass roots
organization who's job is to spoon feed us such 'fact finding' info. I'm
forwarding this letter to you to some other great grass roots orgs (plus to
President Obama) in hopes that SOME organization might see the need for such
data to be compiled and distributed. If such factual data already exists that
is relatively easy to retrieve, please let me know."
|| "I'm disappointed to sound so
but I believe that no
meaningful health care reform
can occur until we do something
About The Author
Resumes are useful in employment decisions. I provide this background so that you may understand what informs the work which you may employ in your own. I have been involved as an organizer-writer in the emerging fields of complementary, alternative and integrative medicine since 1983. Happily, I have learned some things. I was once called an "expert in alternative medicine" by......more