HealthCommentary

Exploring Human Potential

Santa’s Message on Health – 2021

Posted on | December 20, 2021 | 4 Comments

Mike Magee

When I first posted “Santa’s Letter” four years ago, these three of our ten grandchildren were believers, Trump was in power, and immigrant children were literally dying in cages on our southern border. The words written then, by our youngest of four children and her husband, were much needed reassurance.

Our challenges in 2021 are different but no less significant and disorienting. The ongoing pandemic, a climate crisis now visible enough to be difficult to deny, and real threats to our form of government coming from within rather than from outside our borders simply head the list.

And yet – there is still a Santa Claus for true believers. And as he says above, believing in magic, family, laughter, yourself – these are not “luxuries,” but rather essentials to a healthy human existence. Read along with me:

“Dear Quinn, Luca and Charlotte,
Thank you for believing in my magic. I hope you will always believe in magic. 
Believe in the magic of family. There are times you will stumble, but your family will always be by your side. 
Believe in the magic of laughter. It will keep you whole. 
Believe in yourselves because I believe in you. 
Take care of each other.
Love always,
Santa”

This coming year will be a critical challenge for all Americans. How will the American family respond? How do we make America healthy again? I cling to Santa’s final words – “Take care of each other.”

Here is what that means to me as a health professional.

If we acknowledge the learnings of all other developed nations, we will embrace:

1. Universality: Health coverage and quality accessible health services are a right of citizenship in the United States.

2. Public Administration: Administration of basic health coverage is organized in the most cost-efficient manner possible with central oversight by the government. Incremental steps allowing the option of public sponsored plans to those already insured should be encouraged.

3. Local Control of Delivery: The actual delivery of services to ensure quality and cost effectiveness is provided by health professionals and hospitals at the local and state levels.

4. Health Planning is a Priority:  Creating healthy populations is a high priority for our national and state leaders. Working to establish health budgets and priorities, leaders must integrate health services with other social services, advance prevention planning and manage vulnerable populations.

5. Transparency: Providers submit bills. Government ensures payment of bills. Patients focus on wellness or recovery. All essential services (those defined under the ACA)  are covered.

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

Comments

4 Responses to “Santa’s Message on Health – 2021”

  1. Dan Ostergaard
    December 21st, 2021 @ 10:43 am

    Completely agree with those five elements of a healthy society, Mike. If USA would adopt and practice them we would be in keeping with civilized counties, WHO, and the admonitions of the Old and New Testaments and other Holy Books.
    Only thing better in this post is the picture of your great looking family! Happy Holidays!
    Dan O

  2. Mike Magee
    December 21st, 2021 @ 11:34 am

    Dan-
    Many thanks for these kind words and friendship over many years. Your steadying voice and leadership has touched many – including me, for which I am grateful. Wishing you and your family a healthy and Happy Holidays!
    Best, Mike

  3. Lawrence Williams
    December 22nd, 2021 @ 3:47 pm

    Wow Michael that is one beautiful group. I find it hard to translate our years together into this kind of success. My roommate was smart, studious and diligent but there was also a side of him that was just a little mischievous, just a little rebellious, and just out for a bit of good old fashioned booze and raising hell. I am so lucky to have been able to be along for the ride. You and Patricia taught me so much about life that I previously knew nothing about.
    I am very proud to have known you back then and to see your fabulous success. I know how hard you worked in med school and I can see you doing the same thing all through your life with the love, help and support of the marvelous Patricia.
    My very best wishes to you both and that amazing group in your picture.
    Take care Mike. I remain as your ancient friend Larry Williams.

  4. Mike Magee
    December 22nd, 2021 @ 4:25 pm

    Larry-
    I think we are both closing in on “ancient” category certification. I always blush a bit when I read your description of me. I am flattered of course, but also undeserving. What is true is that for four years I had a roommate who was honest and true, humble and loyal, open and accepting, decent in every way, and a believer that right will (or at least deserves to) prevail. I had the companionship and good example you provided in abundance, and hopefully some of that stuck. I am grateful we had the opportunity, in our formative years, to face the normal fears and challenges of growing into adults together. I know for certain that I am the better for your presence. Trish and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and all of God’s blessings in the New Year. Best, Mike

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