So it looks like that with the new Obama administration, Healthcare is finally getting the spot light it needed. Unfortunately, it actually needed this about 30 years ago.
Yet, when you think about it, this is a problem that we dug ourselves into. If I had to choose one word to describe why we are where we are today, it would be ‘Ignorance’. Don’t know what I mean? Well here is a little walk down amnesia lane to reflect back upon some of those fond memories.
You see, up until the 1960’s, healthcare was pretty much like any other service. You need something, you go to the doctor, and you pay the doctor for it. Simple as that. It wasn’t until the mid 60’s that the first form of healthcare insurance came into existence. It was a form of ‘community based insurance’ in that everyone paid the same price and who ever needed it would use it. This is the closest America has ever come to a socialized medical system.
In the late 60’s some clever business guys decided to sell a form of insurance called ‘experienced based insurance’. This was now a form of insurance where the company would charge an individual a certain price based on the how healthy he or she was. The more healthy you are, the cheaper your insurance. So of course all the young and health in the community flocked to the ‘experienced based insurance’ because of the cheaper rates, leaving all the old, sick, and needy in the ‘community based insurance’. As you probably figured out by now, the ‘community based insurance’ model only worked as long as there were young healthy people paying for it and not having to use it too much. The minute they left the “community based insurance” system, it fell apart. The first case of ignorance came from the doctors themselves who actually took this in as an acceptable form of payment. The minute they signed the contracts with the insurance companies, they were locked into an agreement of how, when, and where to take care of those patients. The second form of ignorance was from the government who actually allowed this new system and decided to make this an official free market throughout the 80’s. From there, the market started tanking as healthcare costs continued to rise and healthcare quality continued to drop since there was practically zero government control.
The third case of ignorance came from the patients (read US) for entrusting their entire health care system into the hands of the government and the private insurance businesses that donated heavily to key candidates administrations. There were no doctors in place to make important decisions. The few token doctors that were on the committee were paid handsomely for their ‘service’.
So there is a quick overview of how we got to where we are today. This also why everyone is so excited about the new Health 2.0 technology that is emerging. Curious to learn more about what Health 2.0 is all about? Then stick around for my next post and give you some of the inside scoops. Fear not. There is hope to start digging ourselves out of this rut. It will take time, but better late than never.