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Bill Clinton on health care and wellness

We read a good arti­cle on med­ical salaries recently, and are happy to see an increased empha­sis pre­ven­tion and well­ness rather than on sickness.

Along these lines, we were for­tu­nate to attend Heal­thetc yes­ter­day, a day-long health event in San Fran­cisco co-organized by KCBS and CPMC that had Bill Clin­ton as keynote speaker. You can read an arti­cle on his great inter­ven­tion here.

Some of the speech highlights:

1) Clinton’s great overview of key data:

  • 16 vs 10–11: % GDP spent on health care in the US vs. other indus­tri­al­ized coun­tries. This per­cent­age dif­fer­ence equals around $800 bil­lion annually
  • 84 vs 100: % pop­u­la­tion with some form of health insur­ance in the US vs. other countries
  • 34 and 37: rank­ing of the US sys­tem as mea­sured by health out­comes and life expectancy, respectively
  • 34 vs 19: % health care costs spent on admin­is­tra­tion in the US vs. other countries

2) He out­lined the 3 main prob­lems with US Health­care as follows-and empathized that any seri­ous, long-term solu­tion needs to address these 3 ele­ments as a whole:

  • immoral unequal coverage
  • inef­fi­cient sys­tem: we pay more for less
  • we still focus more on dis­ease than on health. But he is hope­ful about an increas­ing focus on well­ness, absolutely nec­es­sary to alle­vi­ate future cost pressures

3) A cou­ple of (aprox­i­mate) quotes with pro­found wisdom

  • I am a tes­ti­mo­nial for the best of Amer­i­can med­i­cine. Given my heart prob­lems, it is a mir­a­cle I am here with you today. These days I can­not stay more than 5 min­utes in a bad mood, because I remind myself how for­tu­nate I am sim­ply to be alive”
  • (when peo­ple were clap­ping and cheer­ing to easy “sound bites” while he was still try­ing to make a com­plex point) “Please stop. I don’t want you to boo or cheer, sim­ply to think on your own”

In the after­noon we spent some time talk­ing with exhibitors at the Expo and attend­ing some pan­els, such as the one put together by the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion. We were sur­prised at the amount of edu­ca­tion still needed to make the med­ical and health com­mu­nity incor­po­rate science-based advice on life­long learn­ing and men­tal stim­u­la­tion on top of “tra­di­tional” advice around nutri­tion and phys­i­cal exer­cise. The Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion is being one of the pio­neers with their “Main­tain Your Brain” campaign-we are doing our best to con­tribute to the effort with arti­cles such as Easy Steps to Improve Your Brain Health Now.

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8 Responses

  1. therapydoc says:

    Amaz­ing that Bill and I have this in com­mon. Who knew he’d be such a relativist?

    Ther­a­py­Doc, Linda Freedman

  2. Alvaro says:

    I was very impressed when he said that. Pretty nice atti­tude to have!

  3. amanda says:

    awe­some!!! I am impressed by Clinton’s cajones in address­ing a national cri­sis. Health care is sim­ply drag­ging our coun­try down, our econ­omy, our free­doms, and our sol­i­dar­ity. The future how­ever, is clear, the US will one day have national health care.

  4. InsureBlog says:

    HWR: The Derby Edition…

    In honor of the 133rd Run for the Roses, we present the Thor­ough­breds of Wonk. Thanks to the expert groom­ing of Joe and Julie, the Health Wonk Review is a blog car­ni­val of a dif­fer­ent color. Thanks, too, to all the blog­gers who sub­mit­ted almost 20 po.….

  5. […] I’d say the key goes beyond pilots: we need good qual­ity and pub­lished research to engage pol­icy mak­ers and insur­ance com­pa­nies. And a big­ger focus on pre­ven­tion and well­ness, as we saw in the post Bill Clin­ton on health care and well­ness. Learn More about Brain Fit­ness Join our Mes­sage Boards Find the Right Pro­gram Tags: Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging, Brain Fit­ness, brain health seniors, brain well­ness, Cog­ni­tive Fit­ness Sys­tem, Dakim mPower, elder­care tech­nolo­gies, Front Porch, Health­care Unbound conference […]

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