They say we’re in a health care crisis. Everywhere we turn we hear that our system is failing. I would disagree. In fact, I would say that based on the current health paradigm in which we now live, our system works beautifully, and there is nothing to fix.

Huh?!?! Has Campos finally lost his mind?

Hardly. Let me say this loud and clear: WE ARE NOT IN A HEALTH CARE CRISIS. We are in a conceptual crisis–a crisis of paradigms, if you will. Our current approach to health is to take it for granted until something goes wrong, then to run to the doctor or hospital to get cured.

Please tell me what’s wrong with our current system in context of this conceptualization of health care. It’s too expensive? Hey, it costs money to save lives. You think drug research, organ removal training, or high-resolution imaging diagnostics come cheap. Why should the medical industry spend years and years studying, researching and developing, and billions of dollars in funding just to give it away free? Think about that real hard.

Let me add even more perspective–why would you spend years studying in college, and many more years learning a business or craft, no matter what the discipline, to not earn a reasonable and proper paycheck today? Dry cleaning is too expensive! Restaurants are too expensive? Hair stylists are too expensive? Fix these industries! They’re too damn expensive! (Where’s Michael Moore when you really need him?)

Case in point: A new study shows that when women have to pay a portion of a medical bill in the form of a co-payment (sometimes as low as $10), the number who go in for regular mammograms decreases substantially. What the…? This is mind-blowing to me. Women who’d rather not get screened for a life-threatening and essentially preventative (if caught early enough) cancer (breast) to save ten bucks is just incomprehensible. But I think it’s more prevalent a practice than we know right now–among all genders, races, ages, and socioeconomic classes. I see it in my own practice all the time. Does this mean the system needs to be fixed? Well the Federal government seems to be buckling to the pressure–Medicare is now considering waving co-payments for routine mammograms. Hmmm.

The reality is that if we want something more out of health care, we need to put more into our own health. Period. It’s the concept of taking responsibility for our own health; not relying on the government or our employer to foot the bill for our neglect. This is a new way, and one which I heavily believe in and promote. Take better care of yourself and your health care costs will go down. I’ve had one major medical and one major dental situation in the last two years. I paid a pretty penny for sure (about $5,000 total) to get them taken care of. And guess what? It was worth it. You think I just had the money lying around begging for a place to spend it?–oh, wouldn’t that be nice. Sorry, no fat chance–it hurt coming up with the dough. But it was still worth it.

My point is this: Take care of yourself. It will minimize your need for medical care. When something does come up–and it will–your catastrophic medical coverage will come in handy, but it won’t cost you an arm and a leg during more healthy times. Not doing the things necessary to maintain good health in the meantime is just dollar dumb. You might save a penny today, but you’ll be a big contributor to the false notion that our current non-health system needs fixing.

2 Responses to We’ve Still Got A Long Way to Go

  1. Anonymous says:

    Some women choose to not have a mamogram because radiation from the test can damage the DNA in breast tissue. Also, compression of the breast can burst cell membranes. If a cancer cell bursts, it can spread. A better idea is to use ultrasound to image breast tissue. Ultrasound diagnostics are more accurate with no side effects.

  2. Yes, this may be true, however, it’s not the point of the post. I could have just as easily discussed people who wait out their back pain–live with it–because they don’t have insurance and they don’t want to spend the money. Can’t afford it? Chiropractic colleges have clinics that will treat people for as little as five bucks. No college in town? There are other options–one just has to look. And with the ease of the internet, there really is little obstacle. But we are mired in a mind-set that our health care is not something we should have to pay for, because as Americans, we are entitled to it. That’s why there’s this notion that our system is broken, and we need some knight (or knightess) in shiny armor to come save the day with Universal Healthcare.

    I’ve got news for you. If one neglects their health, free health care or not, one’s health will suffer.

    Anyway, thanks for the reply and certainly I can appreciate those reasons for not wanting a mammogram but I also don’t think that had anything to do with the study, which looked at women not getting mammograms because they had to PAY for it. But, we can certainly use a study that looks at women’s concerns or fears of radiation; however, I don’t think that’s been done yet.

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