Is Healthcare Reform Taking the Right Approach?

Posted on by Marc Isaacson, President, Village Green Apothecary

This is part 2 of a series of blog posts by Marc Isaacson, CEO/President of Village Green Apothecary, who is deeply concerned about including prevention and healthy living in our country’s plan for healthcare reform. Clearly the healthcare system is broken. The big challenge is that the current system is designed around treating symptoms and patients with a “one size fits all” approach.” The current plan may be part of the right approach, but it certainly is not the complete package and not sustainable long-term if this is the only approach. The essence of the pending plan is built around competition and cost management. The thinking to-date is to have a public plan option that will be priced very competitively and provide competition to private insurance plans. There will also be subsidies and tax credits to make healthcare more affordable across-the-board, with additional incentives for small businesses, as well as those in low-income brackets. But is this plan sustainable long-term? With the proposed plan, there appears to be the potential for initial cost savings of up to 15-20% in some segments, such as small business. We will also have significantly more uninsured individuals covered, which is needed. However, in my opinion, the proposed plan is not taking into account the critical importance of the long-term view (20-30 years). Most importantly, it contains no components that provide a proactive healthy living/preventative approach. As an integrative pharmacy, we at Village Green Apothecary certainly understand that there is certainly a need for pharmaceuticals at the right time and under the right circumstances. But we also take pride in offering newer, more innovative healthcare options like dietary supplements, herbal remedies, and individualized healthy living plans. We strive to help people take a proactive approach so that they will stay healthy, using both traditional and alternative healthcare options. When health challenges occur, we work with people to find the root cause, not just deal with symptoms. Unfortunately, this proactive, holistic approach seems to be missing from healthcare reform. There’s a reason for this sad fact, and it’s based in the longstanding interdependency of the medical and pharmaceutical industries. For a more in-depth discussion of this topic, read my article, The Missing Link in Healthcare Reform: Why Healthy Living and Prevention Aren't Part of the Plan... But Need To Be. In coming blog entries, we’ll explore the role money plays in healthcare. It’s a big role, of course, both at the macro and micro levels.