Why Do We Need a Healthcare Brigade?

politicians only listen to large groupsWhy do we need a healthcare brigade?  Simple Answer—our politicians only listen and act for us when we speak and vote as a large group with a common and clearly defined goal!  Healthcare reform that benefits the individual American will never be initiated by members of HICUP–we must take charge.

Members of HICUP (BB Brigade acronym for those who are engaged in the “business of health care” in the USA)  are working overtime to safeguard their profits, incomes, and programs while we sit largely on the sidelines powerless. Our uncoordinated whispers and grumblings about our healthcare system do not register on our politicians’ radar. In our “money talks” political system, politicians cater to and obey moneyed members of HICUP to get elected. We only come to the attention of the politicians when they need our votes at election times. In an arena of political gamesmanship, we are simply the sheep to be divided and herded into passive controllable subgroups rather than united behind common needs. We vote based on marketed messages and not on thoughtful consideration of what is good for the American people as a whole. We have no moneyed lobby looking out for our interests in health care and we lack a unified voice to convince politicians we mean business.

When our elected officials do manage to pass healthcare laws, they are riddled with moneyed HICUP (BB Brigade acronym for those who are engaged in the “business of health care” in the USA) special interest perks and loopholes. The wording of healthcare laws serves members of HICUP before us. Our governmental policies and laws are geared toward picking the pockets of individual Americans while keeping HICUP members unreformed.   As a result, our health care security (quality, affordable health care) goes down in the process. When former government bureaucrats are allowed to move from writing health care regulations to lucrative jobs in the private healthcare businesses, it smacks of payment for services rendered while supposedly working for the benefit of the American people. Conversely, movement of private healthcare business executives to positions within government begs the question “who are they really working for?”.

Members of HICUP (BB Brigade acronym for those who are engaged in the “business of health care” in the USA) did not passively stand by as Obamacare (PPACA) became a reality. Actions by the members of HICUP are aimed at securing individual profits and programs.  Consolidations (to reduce competition) that include medical practices being bought out by larger business entities (like hospitals) and health insurance companies merging do not serve the best interests of the individual American by a long shot.

Not too long ago, I watched the Roosevelt series on PBS (Ken Burns) and learned that in the early part of the 20th century, special interests (monopolistic trusts) controlled the economy and the individual American was unimportant and powerless to make a difference. Simply putting food on the table consumed a large amount of the individual American’s day. It took a Great Depression and severe economic times to wake up our nation to the plight of individual Americans. FDR changed the government’s way of doing business from a passive instrument to an active one with government doing for people what they could not do for themselves. Many of the rights and benefits we enjoy today came out of this time. The people rallied to the common cause of social justice and worked together as a nation.

I don’t think we have the luxury to wait for an imminent “FDR” to guide our government away from powerful special interests toward one serving the general public.  We also do not want to wait for a severe economic upheaval to mobilize for healthcare reform. When was the last time we Americans rallied together to get a job done that benefited all Americans especially if it was ahead of business and personal self-interests? WWII preparation? The space program in the 1960s? We do have something today that people in the 1930s, 40s, and early 60s did not have; namely, the Internet to gather information, communicate, and organize our voices as one community.

We, the individual Americans, are passive enablers through inaction and apathy. The ultimate blame for our government’s serving the interests of business first and the American people second rests squarely on OUR shoulders! Our indifference and divided voices plays into the hands of a system that rewards the few and manipulates the many. With the vote, WE are the holders of the power to shape our healthcare system for the good of the individual American!  Healthcare policy in the USA is defined in the laws passed by our government. Inaction on our part will result in a healthcare system that serves the goals of HICUP ahead of ours.

We Americans are all interconnected and when we subdivide into smaller groups and protect our individual turfs, we diminish the whole. As individuals, we are easily herded into subgroups (e.g., Republicans, Democrats, blacks, whites, liberals, conservatives, upper middle class, blue collar, elderly) because we listen to glib media sound bites (orchestrated by marketing and media experts) that speak to our own individual special interests and base emotions (fear, greed, jealousy). For example, the elderly protect their benefits under Medicare, the veterans protect theirs under the VHA and when cuts need to be made, they eagerly point to waste in other tax-subsidized programs serving vulnerable, “less deserving” and less politically-connected groups like the poor. We forget that there is strength in numbers. (in think for yourself?)

The goals of the community-based BB’s Brigade will evolve with time but can be summarized for now as:

  1. to awaken the individual American from a passive to a fully engaged stakeholder of his/her health care
  2. to organize the individual Americans into a “brigade” so that our needs in health care are heard and acted upon
  3. to make transparent and root out inefficient and costly parts of our present health care systems so that we can bring Affordable Health Care and Beyond for ALL Americans.

We will stay simple, targeted, and fair in our message. We will not become affiliated with or endorse any one political group or special interest. The message Affordable Health Care and Beyond for ALL Americans will be our unifying theme. We will look only to the big picture issues and leave the details to be ironed out by non-partisan experts.

Ask your parents, grandparents, children, and any Internet-shy friends and relatives if they would like to join too. Let’s bring a wealth of talent and common sense to healthcare reform. We will develop action items and all actions will be directed at our elected officials–the only people who have the power to create real change.

Stay tuned and be ready to take action.

continue reading at How to Think the Brigade Way–Breaking Years of Lazy Thinking