A Resolution for America’s Healthcare
Now is the time of year when some of us give serious consideration to changing our lives and our lifestyles for the better. For many, the New Year presents an opportunity to erase poor choices made and bad habits created in the previous year, and an opportunity to start anew with a commitment to good physical, emotional and spiritual health. It’s a time of renewed excitement and hope at the possibility of making a meaningful and lasting change in our health, even if we don’t really know just how to turn the excitement and hope into a plan for success.
But in 2016, there is much more at stake than a traditional New Year’s resolution for an individual. In fact, every one of us now has an inherent obligation to consider not only our personal health and wellness, but that of our healthcare system in general. By our own neglect and apathy, our country is now in the midst of the most significant and monumental shift in the model of healthcare delivery since the 1960s, and it is my experience that very few of us knows and understands it. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010, more commonly known as ObamaCare, has changed fundamentally the way in which we receive and pay for healthcare services in our country. It creates a more influential and central role of federal and state governments in determining what services are available to us and which physicians, hospitals and other healthcare agencies may provide those services to us. Through ObamaCare, healthcare is fast becoming a function of the State, and the choices in many aspects of healthcare most of us have grown up being able to make (e.g. which doctor to see and which medication to take) have been wrenched from the list of privileges otherwise accorded to physicians and expected by their patients.
Starting in 2016, Healthcare in America will become as fragile and as weak as it has ever been in the history of our nation. Perhaps it is because our system of healthcare has been transformed to fit a model of collectivism, and we are used to experiencing healthcare as an industry tied to individual liberty and freedom. In order to thrive again, Healthcare in America must transcends politics, race-relations, and economics, and it is time that we as a nation give to our system of healthcare the same level of protection and preservation that we accord to each of us as individuals.
And so just like the personal New Year’s Resolution with which each of us is most familiar, it is time that each of us makes a general New Year’s Resolution for America’s Healthcare:
1. I resolve to take responsibility to preserve, protect and defend America’s system of healthcare.
2. I further resolve to seek, strengthen and support the doctor-patient relationship as the central and irreplaceable foundation of healthcare, and to oppose any legislation, executive order, or mandate whose effect, whether unintentional or by design, weakens the doctor-patient relationship.
3. I further resolve to proclaim, expect and demand of my doctors, my health insurance companies, and my state and federal governments that the privilege of receiving healthcare belongs to me, and cannot be usurped by, or remanded or transferred to, any other individual or agency through man-made entitlement or perceived Right.
Michael J Lucherini MD MS
Dr. Lucherini specializes in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. He practices at Summit Medicine and Pediatrics in Mesa, AZ, and is a Pioneer in Direct Access Medicine. His opinions expressed herein are personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of his staff, his patients, or his colleagues.
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