11/02/2008 02:06 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Accept No Substitutes - A Pre-election Interlude

This is an interlude in the three-part series of Posts that helps YOU DECIDE whether any Plan to fix healthcare will actually fix healthcare.

This post is written before the election in order to be even-handed in my rejections. Both candidates - McCain and Obama - have offered Plans to fix healthcare, plans that address only the financing. Both Plans are fatally flawed.

Having read my prior blogposts, I am sure that you understand. The McCain and Obama Plans will fail for two simple reasons: they address only one symptom of healthcare "illness," and they treat a symptom, not a cause.

Treating symptoms of illness rather than the causes - whether in your own body or the body of healthcare -masks the real problem and assures that the fix will fail.

The financing of healthcare IS a major problem but whether you give tax credits, mandate health insurance, fix the prices, or loudly announce universal health care, you are not dealing with the true cause(s) of healthcare illness. The only way to begin 'fixing' the financing is by reconnecting (see Accept No Substitutes, Part 1 of 3) the person who pays with the person who consumes.

Secondly, all the money in the world will not get you health care if there are no nurses or doctors, nor can it guarantee that the doctor will operate on the correct (blocked) artery. Adjusting the finances will not fix healthcare if you ignore interrelated problems such as the measuring the wrong outcomes; the fiasco we call medical malpractice; the anti-learning culture in healthcare; built-in inefficiencies, and the bloated, unnecessary and counter-productive regulatory bureaucracy. Changing the money flow without fixing these other problems is like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.

No one can fix healthcare by treating symptoms.
No one can fix anything by solving one problem while ignoring the system.

Neither the McCain nor the Obama proposals will fix healthcare. Read the three-part series "Accept No Substitutes," decide for yourself, and reject any fixes that will not fix.

PS. To anyone who loudly proclaims that a specific solution will work, calmly ask for the evidence, not their logic, PROVING that it will work.