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.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. Nick Campos - All Rights Reserved.