Watching the recent health care summit, it was encouraging to glimpse lawmakers in moments of adult discussion rather than engaged in the usual and all-too-easy pandering to America’s worst nature.

However, there is a fundamental flaw in the reasoning on all sides. And this fundamental flaw itself generates the subsequent stalemated disagreements seen at the health care summit.

The flaw lies in the key assumption that the profit motive creates good health care. It is impossible to deliver a goo health care product and make a profit at the same time. The two are mutually exclusive. The current state of the for-profit American health care system is direct evidence of this. This isn’t an indictment of capitalism. Self-interest and the profit motive have helped create a global middle class and break centuries of temporal, intellectual, and spiritual tyranny. But a for-profit approach is a tool amongst many. When it becomes an overarching ideology, capitalism itself becomes tyrannical.

When American citizens recognize, like their peers overseas have for over 60 years, that the tenets of capitalism are tools that serve rather than ties that bind and corporate self interest and the profit motive in the case of health care are a poor combination, then the health care paradigm in America can shift. We will then be free to create a universal health care system modeled on the best ideas and systems tested for decades elsewhere and by any measure are far better than the corporate dominated paradigm we are beholden to here.—Martin Schaefer


Congressional Health Care Talks

I don’t think the answer is going to be revealed in one meeting. It’s a start.

More meetings should be held and they need to start in the starting place. Not talking about profit or reducing costs, but speaking of what real health care is.

We need to look at our situation holistically. We need to think about the body holistically.

Sixteen bottles of pills? That’s what one senator said. That’s the average number of medications that an older person has. My mother had about 30 in her cabinet when she died. This is ridiculous! I want to know when the medical profession switched from looking at the body in a macro way (as a whole person) and went into hyper specialization — only looking at the pieces and not at the whole. That’s where you start: from a point of wholeness, not a point of division. We know where the points of division are (we may not understand them, but we know what most of them are). What are the points of wholeness?

Who are the experts on health in the world? Not the business of health but real health? How do you really help someone get better?

Can all the senators and congresspeople agree to have a discussion on health? This is not a side of the discussion: This is the discussion. There are scientific facts to back this up. You can find what makes people healthier. The definition of health is not up for grabs. Who are the most vital, happy people on Earth? And don’t leave out the very important piece of the pie, that “happy” feelings and emotions are intricately tied to health.

This also can be proven. Once you know what creates and maintains health, then you will see the answers to the quagmire that appears before us today. And oh yeah — you’ll reduce costs, because you will see the issue for what it really is.

We need to call for more meetings of the minds and hearts of the people in office. We must see how they work together or don’t work together. What are the energies (or corporate interests) that are too involved? Who are these people really?

Making them speak with each other about the real will have an effect. Once what health is clear to all, we can see if the insurance companies have provided it. The answer is they haven’t. Health care should not be a business so much as a calling, and most doctors would tell you that.

All of the Congressional representatives and the senators work for us, the American public—and since when do employees receive better “health care” than the employers? We need the right common intention, that of taking care of the citizens of this nation. That’s right: We are not “consumers,” we are citizens.—Teri Hitt


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