During his confirmation hearing for the Department of Health and Human Services, Senator Tom Daschle spoke of the need to shift the focus of the health care system from illness to wellness.
I thought I would point out that this is the direction that a free market would trend. For that matter, the straggling vestiges of the free market that swirl around on the outskirts of the industrial-health-complex are things like doulas, nutritional supplements, gyms, and a ton of weird coaching and spiritual efforts aimed at self improvement.
These efforts are all on the peripheral, and most are marginal concerns.
The industrial-healthcare-complex used the paradigm of illness and marketed fear to roll up the lion's share of the health care pie into wasteful third party health systems (either employer or government funded).
The machine marketed fear of illness, and Americans responded by surrendering the health care to insurance companies, HMOs, government agencies and other third party providers. These agencies leverage our innate fear of illness to tighten their grasp on the industry then use their political clout to drive prices out of the range of the majority of Americans.
Conversely, the machine attacks attempts of the free market to provide wellness centered health services to the public as self-centered greed.
As health care is a direct human to human service, a free market would never have developed this current pricing structure that denies care to so many in our nation.
It takes the corrercive power of monopolies and government to create such an imbalance and unhealthy system.
I agree that our system is flawed. I worry, however, that the left would oppose any system where people played an active role in their lives. I am happy to hear Daschle's rhetoric going in the right direction, but fear that big government agencies bent on pushing the marginal wellness centered health efforts in the free market over the brink.