Health Care in Crisis: Escape the Fire Next Time

@Glowimages: Firefighter Fighting Large Fire

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Are you on fire with enthusiasm for your health care plan? Or are you burned out by worries over it? Maybe your hopes of being actually cured have gone up in smoke and health costs have burned a hole in your wallet. To continue the metaphor, all you want is some warmth of reassurance from your doctors and providers that things will get better and you won’t go bankrupt. But are they really paying attention or too busy testing, treating and prescribing to hear your concerns?

Patients and doctors alike are worried sick, not worried healthy, about the state of health care today. Even as medical practitioners want to do the best they can to make us feel better, many agree we have a dysfunctional disease care, not a health care, system.

What to do?

One entry in the Sundance Film Festival addresses this growing national crisis, a film entitled Escape Fire, to be released October 5. An escape fire is a deliberately set grasslands fire which clears vegetation so any fast approaching fire finds no fuel, cannot continue to burn, and thus allows escape. What will the term mean as it’s referenced in the piece?

As I watch this film, I’ll also be asking: First, is there any hope for controlling costs? Second, what are the promises of better outcomes if costs are controlled? Third, how does prevention play into all this? Finally, is there any acknowledgment that mindfulness, meditation and prayer are proven effective for promoting better health in more affordable and accessible ways?

To control and escape the conflagration of a health care crisis is good. To stomp it out entirely is even better.


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