Occupy Wall Street is everywhere and anywhere you turn, and although demands are unclear, the movement has garnered unprecedented support across the country. But one offspring of Occupy Wall Street has failed to gain the same coverage, despite its united efforts and clear demands: Occupy Healthcare.
According to the site OccupyHealthcare.net, “Healthcare is a morass of competing interests, and a majority of those competing interests are committed to maintaining the status quo. Make no mistake, there is a cacophony, and this cacophony is made up of the voices telling you that change in healthcare is impossible. They are wrong.”
Whether you agree with the movement or not, knowledge is power, which is why we rounded up six things to know about the Occupy Healthcare movement:
1. It has clear principles. Unlike the Occupy Wall Street movement, Occupy Healthcare has managed to create a set of clear, guiding principles, making it easier to identify the goals of the movement and its beliefs. The site recently proposed the following:
- We believe healthcare is a right for all.
- We believe the healthcare system, as it currently stands, is too costly and ineffective.
- We believe that we should create a system that works to meet the needs of a person and community as a whole.
- We believe patients, families, and communities should be at the center of all healthcare.
- We believe that a truly effective, person-centered healthcare system should be built on prevention and wellness rather than illness and disease and that addressing social determinants of health is an integral component of improving health.
- We believe monetary incentives should be tied to better outcomes and improved health, with increased rewards for improving the health of those most vulnerable among us.
2. Supporters recognize American healthcare isn’t the best in the world. On the site KevinMD.com, Mark Ryan, MD, explained why the healthcare system is in dire need of change. He argues that “contrary to the common wisdom,” the American healthcare system isn’t the best in the world. In a series of points defending his stance, he points to a World Health Organization analysis that ranks the U.S. healthcare system 37th. Additionally, the United States ranks 39th in infant mortality, 43rd for adult female mortality, and 42nd for adult male mortality. “We rank last among seven developed Western-style democracies in U.S. healthcare performance,” Ryan wrote. “Our healthcare spending per capita is 50 percent greater than the next highest nation’s, and our healthcare spending in the U.S. is increasing faster than most other nations’.” Lastly, Ryan added, according to a recently released report from the Commonwealth Fund, the United States scored 64 out of 100 points, lagging behind other developed nations. “Americans pay much more per person to support a healthcare system that does not function very well at all,” Ryan concluded. “[It] provides inadequate and unequal care for far too many people, and that leaves nearly 50 million Americans without health insurance. These are indicators of a system with significant, fundamental dysfunction.”
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Great summary of #OccupyHealthCare.
Put the patient at the center!