The annual spend on health care is well over three trillion dollars in the United States; far more than in any other country. How much is three trillion? Three thousand billion. 20% of gross domestic product. Every year. Merriam-Webster defines trillion as “an indeterminately large number.” It’s imponderable. And the spend on health care is increasing.
But precisely who spends all that money? Is it the United States? Not exactly. Regular folks known as taxpayers and adult consumers actually foot the bill. The US government merely regulates the market.
Normally when regular folks decide to spend even a little money, it’s for something they want. To solve a problem or satisfy a need. Is that why Americans spend so much on health care? You’d think so, but I wonder. The United States ranks eleventh of industrialized nations on aggregated measures of quality, efficacy, accessibility, efficiency, value, and equity of health care. We stand out only for extravagant cost. Does that sound like solving problems or satisfying needs?
The answer depends on who? As in, whose problems are solved and whose needs are satisfied. There are mainly four kinds of who in health care: providers, suppliers, payers, and patients. Three solve their problems and satisfy their needs by absorbing hefty shares of that trillion dollar spend. One doesn’t. Guess which one doesn’t.
The answer is patients. Patients, aka taxpayers, aka consumers, aka regular folks don’t charge for their health care. They pay for it. Actually they pay out the wazoo for treatment that on the whole is relatively poor. Why? Possibly because in care settings regular folks are helpless, ignorant, vulnerable, afraid, and malleable. People who fit that description are easy to control. They pay the money not to solve problems and satisfy needs, but because they don’t have much of a choice. Most don’t even know how to choose. Everything is so complicated! They can’t manage their spend though they underwrite the entire industry. Geez is right!
Enter Humaginarium. Why? To lower the cost of health care? No. To increase the quality, efficacy, and value of health care. No, no, and no again. To empower folks who maybe can do those things? Yes, indeed yes.
The mechanism for empowerment is not rocket science. It’s health science, a branch of knowledge that helps folks understand and make good choices, thus becoming good stewards of their bodies and not just bill payers. You will not find a provider, a supplier, or a payer in the health care industry who empowers patients with that knowledge, because it’s not their job. That’s not what they’re paid for.
Then whose job is it? Regular folks, of course. And an unprecedented, astonishing new program of job training for them is called Humaginarium. It’s in the pipeline! So consumers, now hear this:
- You can understand things like physiology and pathology.
- You can enjoy learning how your body deals with chronic illness.
- You can make good medical and lifestyle choices.
- You can be brave, curious, well-informed, and strong.
That’s your job. Humaginarium is like the eagles. Don’t look down. We’re coming to help.