The year 2010 will be remembered as a turning point in health care. The country with the world’s largest single economy, The United States of America, has created a health care system for many of its people. Thirty-two (32) million of the 47 million uninsured Americans will be covered by the new health plan, including the youngest and the sickest. One of the most incredible aspects of the new law is its embrace of prevention and health promotion. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Section 4001), creates the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council.1 Headed by the Surgeon General, this new policy coordinating council of the U.S. government will be run by several cabinet members and will be advised by complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners. Among other things, the council is tasked to consider innovative, evidence-based models and policies to promote ‘‘transformative models of prevention, integrative health, and public health on individual and community levels across the United States.’’ It is now the task of the CAM and integrative medicine community to use this new visionary piece of law to transform health care.2 If we do not take this chance to redefine health, wellness, and health care, a broken system, teetering on collapse will shatter. Our actions will help define the direction for the future of health care, not only in America but worldwide, because the lifestyle habits of people in the United States of America might just become its greatest export. (excerpt)
Senzon SA. Seeds of Meaning, Transformations of Health Care, and the Future. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2010 Dec;16(12):1239-1241.