Who Are We?
The US is in the throes of a major health care crisis, a crisis of both access and affordability. You know the outlines of this already: costs are going up, doctors are leaving the profession, staggering under tremendous burdens of student debt and insurance paperwork, and outcomes for care are getting worse. We are the only developed nation that does not guarantee universal access to health care. Instead, we have argued about it for the past twenty-five years, watching the system collapse under its own weight.
The insurance industry, which was supposed to provide lower costs through free markets, has instead inserted middle men between patient and provider, siphoning off billions of dollars from direct care and creating new bureaucracies. Now that industry, like the rest of health care, is also in trouble. Thousands of layoffs accompanying the downturn will soon overload the system further by creating a larger population of uninsured who defer treatment, crowd emergency rooms, and raise costs further. Add in an aging population and it’s a recipe for disaster.
President Obama has signalled that he will try to do something about American health care, but he has Iraq, Israel, the economy, and much else on his plate.Â We have to help him.Â “We” are Karoli Kuns and Francine Hardaway, two women with some expertise in both health policy and social media who have decided to help by creating content for people who need immediate assistance finding care or insurance, and by writing about new ideas that could solve the problem long term. “We” are also you.
Because Karoli and I are both heavily engaged in social media communities, we know that the best way to get people immediate help is to ask for it: to ask our communities to pitch in. We do not intend to re-invent anything here, but rather to aggregate, collect, and crowdsource our wisdom to help you, the health care consumer — EVERYMAN.
This site is meant to grow and change. We welcome and need your feedback and questions. We will try to list in the Blogroll the good sites where “Health 2.0″ consumers and providers have circumvented the system and created their own support groups and information portals. Keep the suggestions coming!