THE BLOG
08/12/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Avoiding healthcare, are we?

Why do we keep avoiding healthcare? Probably the same reasons we avoid talking about death: either we think we can do nothing about it or we are superstitious and talking about bad things makes them happen.

If you are a bicyclist like me, you never ever discuss flat tires when you start out on a training ride. If you are putting on a wedding dress, you do not mention your friend who tripped walking down the aisle, and certainly not the other friend who got divorced one month after the wedding. If you talk about the problems of healthcare, then healthcare might HAVE problems and then you will have to deal with them!

We all engage in magical thinking or create self-fulfilling prophecies.

A self-fulfilling prophecy is when you predict something and then you make it come true. You say I can never jump over that fence. Then you jump and but do not put in enough effort. See? Your prediction came true.

You say that healthcare is unfixable. You do not try to fix it. It stays broken. Then you can say: See, I told you so! It can't be fixed.

Nothing is insoluble unless we make it so. In 1960, when President Kennedy said that we would go to the moon in a decade, it was technically impossible. Nine years later, Neil Armstrong took one giant step for mankind.

Next excuse: healthcare is too complex for me. The experts have to sort it out. But it was the self-styled experts (and our lack of consensus) that got us into this mess.

When we run out of standard excuses, there is the ultimate: they will never let us fix it. The all-seeing, almighty, never-sleeping and never-defined "they." Who has true power in this country? Who is the ultimate authority? WE have the power to change anything. If we do not, then who is truly to blame?

At present, people are consumed with election fever. The contest for the White House dominates the news. Meanwhile, the number of our countrymen without ready access to healthcare is the same percentage of GDP that we spent last year on healthcare - 15%! Next year, over 100,000 Americans will die avoidably while receiving healthcare. That is 36 times the number of people who died on 9/11/01, killed every year by a system that is supposed to save us.

Healthcare has been an escalating crisis under Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, GHW Bush, Clinton, GW Bush, and will be still worse under the next President, unless the Public fixes it. We ignore healthcare at our personal peril, literally.

If we wait until we need healthcare to fix the system, we will much be too late.