The road to creating good National Health Care may well begin with first answering this question. There has been much confusion, conflict, money, airtime and fear surrounding the debate on national health care reform and this has a meaning.
Clearly this means that we are confused about the fundamental nature of the problem we are attempting to solve.
The basic questions of health care reform depend upon a valid understanding of health: what is it, how does it happen, how is it lost. If we have a clear idea about what health is, then we will know how to support it.
The first challenge in answering this question is that the answer may not be instantaneous.
I can hear someone saying: “Yes, this is a great question, but I don’t have time to answer it now, as I’m in too much pain and I just want relief.”
This is the attitude that is often reflected in the current approach to health care reform.
It reminds me of a recent conversation with someone in a whirlwind of “to do” tasks saying: “Once I’m done with these tasks I’ll be able to relax.” She even laughed upon hearing herself say this, as she recognized the fallacy of ever being done with “what needs to get done.”
So, engaging with the question: “What is Health?” means first of all, to consider this question as we face the health care crisis as consumer, leader, provider or decision-maker. This does not require us to stop the activity of reforming health care, but if we include this question in our inquiries, new useful ideas and directions may emerge to help us find the right answers.