Monday, October 5, 2009

Holistic Healthcare Reform


Are you tired of fighting over healthcare crumbs? Have you grown leery and weary of the same-old-debate? Maybe this will shake it up a bit: ask yourself "what would Andrew Weil do?"


The 67-year-old Dr. Weil -- director of the Program in Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine, University of Arizona -- says "There is too much emphasis on treating disease rather than on protecting health in the first place."
A list of seven key recommendations from his new book "Why Our Health Matters" appeared last month in the blog The Integrator. I can't add much to this - at least until I've read the book.
Health Care Call to Action
Andrew Weil, MD, September 2009
As an American, you have a right to good health care that is effective, accessible, and affordable, that serves you from infancy through old age, that allows you to go to practitioners and facilities of your choosing, and that offers a broad range of therapeutic options. We currently have an expensive system that is not making people well. (emphasis mine)
While there has been tremendous debate over access and payment, there has been less focus on the content of health care. Without a change in that content, we will never have a sustainable system; all attempts at reform will be taken down by unmanageable costs.
  1. Ban direct-to-consumer marketing and advertising by big pharma.
  2. Create a National Institute of Health and Healing at the NIH and fund it generously.
  3. Create an Office of Health Promotion within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and fund it appropriately.
  4. Teach health promotion and integrative medicine at medical schools and residency programs.
  5. Require insurers to cover health promotion and integrative care.
  6. Establish an Office of Health Education within the U.S. Department of Education.
  7. Learn how to take care of yourself!

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