THE BLOG
07/01/2008 01:54 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Curing Sicko

In his movie Sicko, Michael Moore dramatized the dysfunctions in our healthcare system. What it will take to cure Sicko?

The first step, part of my mantra Stop3-Start3, is to stop blaming. Whoever your favorite the villain - heartless insurance company; Government held hostage by special interests; greedy doctors or drunken nurses; ambulance-chasing lawyers; etc. - blaming may make you feel good by venting your anger but it never cures anything. We need to move beyond the blame game if we want a cure.

To start curing, we need to stop confusing causes with symptoms. This is critical. Successful treatment of anything must be aimed at the cause of a problem, not just the signs or symptoms. If you have pain in your belly, you need a workup to find what is causing the pain, not just a dose of morphine.

Medical mistakes. Nursing shortages. Constantly rising health care costs. Over 45 million without medical insurance. These are NOT causes. They are all signs and symptoms. Yet they are what we treat. No wonder the patient - Sicko - never gets better.

We need to understand the reasons why Sicko is sick - that requires root cause analysis. Then we must agree on what Sicko should look like when he is well. This requires national dialogue: us talking to us, with input from experts, but we make decisions.

• "Universal health care at no charge for everyone," someone cried. Okay, but WHO is everyone? Does everyone include illegals?
• ALL care for everyone? Is it okay to go to the ER with a rash?
• Does the individual patient have any personal responsibilities and if so, what are they?
• There might be "no charge," but there certainly will be costs. Who pays and where are the incentives to economize?
• If you simplify and reduce the bureaucracy to save money, are you prepared for millions of lost or altered jobs?

We must agree on what is really wrong. Then we must decide what we want the new system to do. I can just hear those who will cry, They will never let us do it! Please remember who has the real power in this country. We do. If we talk to each other, and achieve a consensus on healthcare, they will have to do what we say, or they will be voted out of office.

Curing Sicko requires treating why he is so sicko and we are the ones to do it.