Becoming More Health-System Independent

This blog has been quiet for a while, and for a reason. We will undergo a bit of a repurposing.

Our major focus in the recent past was the implementation of Obamacare, with commentary on the major developments as they occurred. Going forward, however we will become more focused on our core message: People should become more independent in managing their health.

We are not suggesting that people stop seeing their doctor. We are saying “be informed, take control, know you rights”.

In that vein, we have published an expanded set of useful health care links, built around a theme:

To increase your level of independence, become informed in these nine general areas:

1) Understand your personal situation
2) Understand who is treating you
3) Understand the finances- yours
4) Understand the finances- theirs
5) Understand your alternatives
6) Explore online tools to help yourself
7) Understand your rights
8) Plan for the future
9) Know where to get help

Within this framework, we share over 100 links to governmental organizations, insurers, foundations, associations, news articles, databases and additional high quality sources as we become aware of them.

And as additional functionality becomes available on our site (today you will find this blog, a discussion forum, health community resource sections and an online health record), we will share that information here. The new, expanded links can be found at Health Tactics Resource Links

We hope you find them to be useful.

What happens when the pie is shrinking?

Throughout my entire life, the economic pie in the US has been growing. This has made possible civil rights, women’s rights and a number of safety net programs. Now, we are entering a time when the pie is shrinking, or at least perceived to be shrinking.

When this happens, people are unwilling to share. What used to be “I am doing well, so you can have a little” has become “What I gave you before, well I need that back”.

This is what is driving our nasty and unproductive politics. The question is, “What do we do about it”?

Game theorists look at this as a form of dividing the pain. And there is no universally agreed on definition of fairness, especially when dividing pain.

Where we need to start though, is understanding the situation we are in, and where this tends to lead us if we are unaware- that is, towards selfishness, unreasonableness and conflict.

The pie is perceived to be shrinking. Let’s understand this and manage through it in a way we will look back on and feel proud.

Does this make sense?

Have you ever considered-

Someone is hungry, so they stand outside a restaurant asking for food. Eventually the owners may call the police. Someone is homeless, so they stand outside a hotel or motel asking for a room. Again, the owners may eventually call the police.

Because this person is homeless and hungry, eventually they collapse from exposure and/ or hunger. Now, we have a very expensive hospital bed and a very expensive hospital meal just for them.

Something to think about…

Introduction

We are headed for difficult times in this country.

Over the past 50-60 years, the economic pie has been growing. This has made possible a number of positive social changes, such as Medicare, Social Security, Civil Rights and Women’s Rights.  When our situation is getting better, it is easy to share a little with those who have less.

We are now entering a period where the economic pie is shrinking, or at least perceived to be shrinking. What we now see is an unwillingness to share- in fact, many want to reduce or eliminate some of the social programs that have been introduced over the past half century.

I am not arguing that this is either good or bad. I am asking “how do we get there?” How do we reduce the costs of health care in a way that is fair? Who pays? Who sacrifices?

This is what this blog is about.

Further, it is not just about what I think. Over time, this blog will make available a discussion forum and brief surveys (polls) so the readers, you, can make your opinions known, hopefully with a minimum of partisan politics.

I hope you will participate, and that you find this blog and related forums and polls to be useful, timely and engaging.

Steven Yergan, CEO, Health Tactics