While at SCNM (www.scnm.edu) I was advised multiple times not to mix medicine with religion or politics. Yet I am perpetually fascinated by both topics. And now in the midst of an election year, the significance of politics and medicine is of vast importance. I find myself drawn to the presidential primary debates to determine, if that is possible, where the candidates stand on health care for our country. I yearn for an awareness of the candidate’s ideals and of the ramifications of those ideals for Naturopathic Medicine. 2008 -2009 may be a bit premature when looking for a candidate that supports Naturopathic licensure throughout the United States. But the significance of the healthcare reform that all candidates propose can not be overstated.
I do not have an answer as to which candidate would be best. I am not sure any of the candidates will have solutions to my questions. I imagine that all the candidates have plans limited by the paradigm of the conventional medical establishment, limited by how to work within the confines of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. This is a broken system. I have yet to hear any solid solutions for how the proposed healthcare reforms will meaningfully restructure this monetarily driven industry into a configuration that truly values the health of the consumer over the financial bottom line.
I believe when health becomes the true focus; when the well being of the individual overshadows the financial ramifications to the industry; when gentle prevention is valued equal to invasive treatment; Naturopathic medicine will play an emphatic and vital role in the this new and truly holistic health care system.