If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that short punchlines often spoken by politicians tell us little about how such chants can be realized. And yet, the wonk that shares all the details bores the crowd. Where’s the middle ground? Medicare for all is a widely shared idea but very little information exists regarding how it would exactly be implemented. Further, it relies on Congress to allocate extensive funds to get the existing system expanded and maintained.
Beyond these challenges, I am constantly perplexed by the fact that, not just in healthcare but across most areas, there already exist mature programs that could address many of these national issues, cheaper, faster, better. You might wonder why people running for president do not know about these programs. For that matter, why don’t Americans, who are paying for all these solutions, know about these programs? Two simple reasons: 1) there are too many for anyone to track and 2) government employees aren’t allowed to share information without permission. Ultimately it means that we are all forced to make decisions with limited knowledge and out of necessity to be short and sweet, politicians provide us with punchlines they believe will make us vote (regardless of whether or not the stated goal is achievable or not).
How do we change this practice? We approach problems through a new lens and ask different questions. We look at healthcare not just through the lens of a new law or more money but rather by looking at the entire system and idea of health and wellness care, combining that information with government programs already being funded, and talk to the individuals both providing services as well as receiving them. When we put all that information together, we have a chance of creating a system that really works in terms of cost, care, and citizens.
National Readiness starts with ensuring our Earth is healthy but very next, ensuring that our people are healthy. When Americans are ready to learn, ready to work, and ready to live – that’s when we truly have created a system that works.