Health Insurance Isn’t Health Care

Some call it Obamacare. Others abbreviate it PPACA. Is the Affordable Care Act the same as health care reform? Most would say yes. I disagree.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is primarily health insurance reform. The law attempts to protect patients from for-profit insurance companies through increased regulation of and expanded access to for-profit health insurance. With affordable premiums (whether private or public) through subsidies, tax credits, and mandates, almost nobody should be uninsured.

Yep! In 2014, all Americans will finally have a health insurance card. Problem solved.

Here’s the glitch: health insurance doesn’t equal health care.

The fact is: health care can never be mandated. Most people suffer ill health from poor lifestyle choices. Legislation can support healthy behavior, but laws can’t force people to care about themselves—or anyone else. Compassion comes from the heart, not the pen. No amount of legislation can force me to care about my patients. Caring happens when I sit face to face, heart to heart, with a patient. And listen deeply. Without interruptions from bureaucrats or middlemen.

Health care without bureaucrats and middlemen? Is that even possible?

Imagine this: What if patients were in charge of designing clinics and hospitals? What if YOU could receive ideal medical care in your own neighborhood? No waiting room. No phone tree. No paper gowns. Imagine what it would look like, sound like, feel like to enter an ideal clinic designed by patients, not politicians, experts, and lobbyists.

The good news: it’s been done.

In 2005, without marching, picketing, or waiting for legislation, I held town hall meetings and invited citizens to design their ideal clinic. I collected 100 pages of submitted testimony, adopted ninety percent of feedback, and we opened our community clinic just one month later. It’s not rocket science. It’s not a fight. And it didn’t take decades of debate in D.C.

When the citizens of Lane County, Oregon, pioneered the first community-designed ideal clinic in America, they created a template for the nation. Now physicians and patients are designing their own ideal clinics. You can do it, too!

Health care is more than just an insurance card. Join the national movement that’s delivering ideal care to all Americans.

Want ideal care? Here’s how one community made it happen:   Pet Goats & Pap Smears. Meet doctors in ideal clinics all across America:  Praise for Pet Goats & Pap Smears. Can’t afford the book ($16.99 on Amazon)? No problem. I’ll mail you one for free.

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One comment on “Health Insurance Isn’t Health Care
  1. Perkins says:

    Beautifully written! Thank you for being so inspiring and uplifting.

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