How to Think For Yourself the Brigade Way

When it comes to healthcare, you have to learn to think for yourself and not be led by others.   This is now called becoming engaged.  Each of us has an opinion about our healthcare system that is shaped by our personal experiences, the opinions of people around us, and especially by what the media reports. When healthy, our view of the healthcare industry comes from well-orchestrated media campaigns by members of HICUP (BB Brigade acronym for those who are engaged in the “business of health care” in the USA). Healthcare businesses function to maximize income and profits, not to make health care better or more affordable to the individual American. Because they are self-serving, all statements from members of HICUP require careful scrutiny.

When we become very sick and utilize many health care services, our focus is centered on healing and coping with the many stresses associated with the illness, rather than fully “seeing” our healthcare system as it really is. We have learned to accept whatever health care is available to us and feel powerless to bring about meaningful change.

HICUP’s persuasion is well orchestrated and funded. The word “affordability” in health care brings out the usual sky-is-falling phrases like “socialized medicine”, “death panels”, and “massive job loss”. Medicare was supposed to ruin health care in the USA when it was proposed in the 1960s. Obamacare was supposed to bring massive job loss. Neither situation materialized. We subdivide into our predicable self-interest molds–Republicans or Democrats, the rich or the poor, and the elderly or the young instead of uniting as Americans with the same basic health care needs. We have been conditioned to turn on each other.

Manipulation by members of HICUP (BB Brigade acronym for those who are engaged in the “business of health care” in the USA)  was in full swing before, during, and after the passage of Obamacare (officially, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”). Politicians, thinking only of reelection, used health care reform for political gamesmanship rather than concentrating on making health care reform work for the individual American. Some of us reject Obamacare because we dislike President Obama or his policies. President Obama will be gone at the end of this term, but we will still have to live under a healthcare system that is in need of serious shaking up. Affordable health care and patient protection will only come from government mandates because those making money on health care will never bring it about on their own! This fact does not change with who is in the White House nor which political party controls Congress.

Years of “Repeal Obamacare ” would have been better spent as years of “Improve Obamacare”. Why didn’t we ask the repeal-trumpeting politicians for a concrete list of “why” Obamacare needed to be repealed so that we could evaluate the merits of their arguments and make up our own minds? Better still, why didn’t we use that list to identify Obamacare Part 2? Why? Because we do not think for ourselves and that suits those in Washington –ignorance makes us better lap dogs.

think for yourselfWhen a doctor’s association tells you that Obamacare will “destroy” the doctor-patient relationship, you should first ask yourself how good was your doctor-patient relationship before Obamacare and how will it change because of Obamacare. Under the healthcare system in use for the past 50 years, the patient was little more than a “collection of parts” to be fixed by specialists and not a whole human being.

Because we are not used to thinking critically, we skim articles or worse, only look at headlines and listen to political propaganda. Headlines from 2010 to 2014 such as “Obamacare Will Kill Jobs, Worsen Poverty, Slow Economic Growth and Drive Up Your Medical Costs” and “Is Obamacare a ‘job-Killer’?” plant the seeds of negativity that lodge as “facts” within our minds and the Obamacare = job loss  “fact” lingers long after it had been proved false. You cannot explain why you think Obamacare is bad, you just do! Some congressmen saw this opportunity to make headlines and tried to pass the “Repealing the Job-killing Health Care Law Act (H.R. 2, 112th Congress). This is further reinforcement that Obamacare = job loss must be true since our elected officials are putting it on a title for a law!

Journalists write headlines and interpret data selectively to gain readership and politicians say and do things to get elected. We must recognize that everything we read has been massaged, packaged, and delivered with motives other than delivery of the truth to the individual American. This is simply the way it is and we need to consume information “smartly”.

BB’s Brigade for Affordable Health Care and Beyond for ALL Americans challenges the individual American to

  1. Think and draw your own conclusions from unbiased information. Stop listening and parroting politically-charged messages and special interest propaganda–this is usually not in your best interest. “Tune out the noise”, step back, and evaluate what is best for us as a nation.
  2. Go beyond protecting your own self-interest status at the expense of others. Fighting for what is fair for ALL Americans benefits our nation and us in the end and targeting sub-groups of Americans for blame is counterproductive.
  3. Become an engaged stakeholder in your health care and if needed help family members who are not able to do so. (link to stakeholders)
  4. Register to vote and vote in every election. If you know someone who is not registered, help them register and engage others in the political discussions that affect health care. Become informed about the issues BEFORE blindly following media-generated statements that serve a politician’s election (or re-election) or special interest pockets at the expense of the individual American.

You do not have to think exactly like me or anyone else. This is America. Am I worried that we will never come together as a group? No. We might disagree on the details, but I have faith in the individual American wanting Affordable Health Care and Beyond for ALL Americans. I truly believe that what is good for our society as a whole is good for me as an individual.

Bottom line

:As a Brigade member, you will be challenged to think outside your usual comfort zone and become an engaged healthcare stakeholder. Educate yourself and read beneath the surface of articles—this is where the real story lies. Learn to recognize what is best for you, the individual American. Research Obamacare details from online sources you trust. and make a list of pluses and minuses. You, the individual American, have it in your power to influence healthcare policy in the United States by collectively VOTING for elected officials who support healthcare reform that serves us, the individual Americans. You also have in your power the ability to VOTE OUT those who further the needs of HICUP members over those of the individual Americans.

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