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...yep, it's certainly not that new.
I was reading a great article in "Modern Healthcare" magazine and the special feature in their July 2, 2012 edition reflected upon a timeline that dated back to 1883 and the journey to today. Like the good book says "there's nothing new under the sun". Folks have been trying to tackle the challenges of how to provide health services to the masses for many a year, and we are still struggling.
My personal opnion is until there is more individual accountability about how one takes care of their own health, the costs of providing care are going to continue to be a worry. I know, I know, there are some that have little to no way to change their condition and are subject to ailments due to circumstances out of their control, however, that is a very small percentage. There are numerous studies that indicate lifestyle choices that lead to ill-health are driving the cost of care to astronomical heights.
So needless to say, government-driven reform is a valiant attempt to address a terribly burdened system, but is also going to have variable success until a majority of folks take an active role in making a difference in their own health. My own personal testimony is a sobering one, but it did "shake me" into making changes in my life....
...my Father loved to eat and unfortunately chose to eat high fat, high sugar, high calorie meals. He was busy as a farmer in a management role, driving many miles a day, but did not routinely exercise. Even when he nearly died of a heart attack, he did not change his lifestyle. Eventually, he had two invasive heart procedures and ended up passing away from another heart attack. Now who's to know if he had changed his lifestyle if things woud have been different, but I tend to think so. I knew then that the only thing I couldn't change were my genes and a family history of cardiac disease, but all the other risk factors were up to me to manage. It hasn't been easy, and I have to work very diligently to be healthy...I offer you encouragement to make good choices about your health, and maybe, just maybe, the "reform" in your life will translate to true and broad Healthcare Reform.