Shimon Waldfogel

President, Citizens4health

This conversation is closed.

What can we do as citizens, not just consumers or patients, to improve quality, cost and access to healthcare services for all American?

The American healthcare system is sick, and is getting more and more critical by the day. The symptoms are severe. 1. unsustainable costs for individuals and families leading to personal bankruptcies and inability to get needed care 2. escalating expenditures by local and the federal government that deprive funding from other important priorities such as education and infrastructure 3. escalating federal expenditures for healthcare that increase the national debt to unacceptable levels 4. lack of insurance coverage for too many Americans leading to increased cost of healthcare services for all of us 5. poor safety and quality performance that leads to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths and injuries.

It is clear to most Americans that politicians, driven by their need to serve small ideological groups as well as well funded stakeholders and interest groups, will not help us achieve the needed solutions. The will do all they can to maintain the status quo.

What can we as citizens do to overcome the barriers to a more effective healthcare system?

Closing Statement from Shimon Waldfogel

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

It is clear from the talk and comments that we are not satisfied leaving it to politicians to simply bandage our broken healthcare system.

Our political leaders, working within a toxic and highly polarized political system, are proving incapable of providing needed solutions.

It has become clear to me and many others that healing our healthcare system will be up to each one of us—not only by voting, but by getting involved to change the course of our nation.

That is why I created Citizens4Health, an organization motivated by the belief that citizen engagement will contribute to solutions to the big problems that confront our nation. Citizens4Health invites citizens to imagine and engage in a process that brings about a sustainable healthcare system that provides excellent, affordable and accessible services to all Americans.

On October 20th, 2102 we will formally launch Citizens4Health with an event called Health of the Nation. The inaugural Health of the Nation will highlight a treatment to help cure our sick healthcare system. Many of the ideas of the commentators will be used.

Learn about our organization and events at

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    Apr 22 2012: At the risk of being too simplistic, let's eat healthy, stop smoking, exercise regularily, drink lots of water, maintain a postive attitude, and pay attention when we're doing things so we can stay healthy and drive those bast--ds out of business.
  • Apr 21 2012: Citizens must understand the problem to begin with.

    The way I see it is the problem begins with the citizens and their fear. This makes us vulnerable and easily exploited.

    Employer supplied health insurance is bad. The premium costs are split up between the employer and employee. The employee does not share enough of the cost to understand their impact of how they use the insurance. Therefore they end up over-using the insurance, when many of their ailements can be self-treated or left to run their course.

    Pretty much anykind of free healthcare will make the situation worse. I am not saying that private charity hospitals are bad. This is much better, because people are gladly giving money to help their fellow man; but anytime people are getting a service for free they WILL abuse it.

    Taxpayer funded healthcare will be no different, because many of those who use it will not be paying for it, and they will abuse it.

    The solution is for citizens to have to be accountable for their own lifestyles and well-being (Though they make it difficult to do so right now), don't feed at the free trough if they can help it (I know they have us over a barrel on that one) and stop being scared of dying. Take away the demand and the prices will start to come down.

    I know all of this seems extreme, but if the Citizens don't take charge of themselves then someone else will; because for everyone to have a right to healthcare is unsustainable or will remove too much money from the people's pocket for the economy to function properly.

    Compassion is burdened with as much irresponsibility as it motivates good deeds.

    W.P. Baldwin
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    Apr 26 2012: A way to bring some relief to the healthcare services is to start with yourself.

    Live a healthy life, try not to indulge too much in harmful habits and eat healthy food. Listen to your body, it gives off warning signals before it breaks down. Don't go to the doctor for every cough and sneeze but see if it goes away. Educate yourself on health, do a bit of literature research into health and some ailment you might have and try to apply it into your life, learn how to treat simple things. Use herbs, ideally plant a herb garden and look up what herbs can benefit you the most, they work better then you'd expect.

    That way there is less resources wasted on things that could have been prevented or cured without healthcare. Ofcourse there is a lot wrong with healthcare and medicine, but that's not something a citizen can do much about. It takes people with knowledge on the subject to change that kind of things.
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    Apr 26 2012: In Australia we all pay a levy on our gross income to cover our nationalised health care. It’s like being forced to have health insurance but without the insurance companies skimming all the money for their shareholders. I personally pay $1600 per annum but the knowledge that I have endless access to a system that is higher on the WHO ranking than the US and is free makes it OK. The important thing is it doesn't cover things you don't need. A private system is too easily distracted by making money out of nose jobs. I don't care if it is socialism at least if I'm injured in a car crash I'm not financially crippled as well just because I was laid off a week earlier. And Robert if you check the WHO rankings nationalised health care systems seem to figure quite prominently at the top of the list for something that never works.
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    Apr 22 2012: I agree with RH and have deep concern for Orlando Hawkins. First did you ever look at your receipt from the insurance company? Look at the amount requested and then the amount allowed. Doctors jack it up and insurance companies meet it half way so that we pay over the costs to give a profit to the provider. So why not eliminate the insurance company and add perhaps 5% to the costs with the patient having the right to challenge. In many cases we, the consumer, are to blame. Asperin (generic) is the same as a brand name and much cheaper. The tablet either has asperin or does not. There is no more or no less. Either present or not. Obama care is the scariest thing I have ever read. There is no free lunch. This is pure socialism. It has never worked and will fail again here. What is the cost of this failure. All of the attachments deprive us of freedoms. The addition of dhimmitude shows where Obama's loyalities are. We must eliminate the welfare metality. We have in the US generations of welfare families. I believe in a hand up not a hand out. The first step is to return to a Constitutional government and return the power to the states. Welfare should have a limit. Example, I offer you three jobs and you refuse to work then you have made a choice and assistance will stop. This was originally the Purtian Ethics Law. No work no food or shelter. Socialism sounds real good. What happens when you run out of other peoples money. Get the idea that this is free out of your head. Someone pays. This is serious discourse. What ever the answer is Obama's socialism is not the answer and the provisions are clear violations of our rights and invasion of privacy. Death warrants and jail are included. Bob.
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      Apr 22 2012: What's to be concerned about?

      What I mentioned has been expressed by tea party members and republicans multiple times in the media (if you know anything about conversations regarding death panels then you would have surly heard about everything I mentioned). When it comes to health care reform those two political factions are the biggest impediments..if you don't know this I'd have to kindly say I'm the one who is concerned. nonetheless that's not what's important and your more than entitled to your opinion. is one example. You will find what I'm talking about within the first minute of reading the article.:

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    Apr 22 2012: For starters:

    To get people to realize that universal health care does not equal socialism as well as the holocaust and the gulag.

    After this I think a serious discourse can take place
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    Apr 21 2012: Some of the aspects of this are:

    This subject responds to supply and demand when the price becomes free the demand skyrockets. Part of this is the way that the individual has no idea what the cost is therefore wants the best of everything. The idea of HSA's were to help with this.

    There is no interstate competition so the the insurance providers have no competition. This is crony capitalism.

    There is a huge amount of corruption in medicare.

    Because the medicare doesn't do anything to worry about costs the costs relating to medicare skyrocket.

    Lawsuits are ubiquitous there needs to be tort reform.

    The FDA needs to be done away with.

    It is regulated to death.

    Not to mention free ER service for anyone who shows up at hospital.

    And more that I don't know about

    Suffice to say get government the F out of healthcare and it will be healthy.