We will seek a transformation of our entire health care system not only providing free universal health care (Medicare for Everyone) in our own country and around the world, but also creating a system that addresses the spiritual, psychological, and physical dimensions of human beings and the impact of social and environmental influences on their well-being. Health care is about caring for each person, not simply mechanistically treating a body seen as a machine disconnected from its own inner life.
We recognize that health care is about caring for each person, not simply treating a body in a mechanistic way as if it is detached from a human being that has a full and rich inner life. As spiritual progressives, we recognize that physical health cannot be divorced from environmental, social, spiritual, and psychological realities.
To become truly holistic, health care must address a person’s full being, their experience at work and in family life, their emotional lives and their spiritual lives, their play and their exercise, their loves and their fears. It will seek to understand, diagnose, and intervene on all levels of our being at the same time.
To this end,
- We support “Medicare for All”: a single-payer system that ensures we all receive the health care we need. Physicians for a National Health Plan has published a detailed plan for how this would work (pnhp.org).
- We believe health care professionals (including doctors, nurses, dentists, mental health professionals, chiropractors, and other alternative health practitioners) should be able to receive free tuition and fully subsidized training and internships in exchange for their commitment to charge dramatically reduced fees for their services.
- We will demand that pharmaceutical companies provide medications at costs that are affordable in exchange for government subsidies and funding of extensive research of health interventions, drugs, preventive care, and treatment strategies. If they are unable to do so, then the government shall fund production of affordable drugs and replace the pharmaceutical industry. Research on pharmaceuticals, preventive care, and treatment strategies should be funded by the government and separated from any profit motive.
- We support equal funding for and research of the efficacy of so-called “alternative” health care approaches including, but not limited to, Chinese medicine and acupuncture, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Nutrition, and the like.
- We will promote a health care system in which practitioners with diverse experience and expertise work in teams. In this approach, people will be seen by diverse practitioners with multiple levels of knowledge who together bring a broad interdisciplinary approach to the process of diagnosis and treatment.
- We will seek to transform medical training so that practitioners are taught to see their patients as human beings in all their beautiful complexity.
CONTRAST: LIBERAL AGENDA — Liberals seek the gradual addition of benefits for different sectors of the population but leave the whole system in the hands of the profiteers, thus guaranteeing that their proposed changes will be undermined by the insurance companies and drug companies who raise their costs to make huge profits and thus make these health care reforms unreasonably costly. The provision of free universal health care will decrease, not increase, the total amount spent on health care by the United States.
Furthermore, liberals often fight for health care using narrow economic arguments. Spiritual progressives seek to return the conversation to what it’s really about, namely, caring for everyone on the planet, not only because it is the ethical thing to do, but because it gives us all an opportunity to actualize our deep yearning to care and to be cared for.
CONTRAST: CONSERVATIVE AGENDA — Conservatives continually place private profit over public need when it comes to health care. They think of health care as something that needs to be earned rather than as a manifestation of the sacred obligation we have to care for each other. They see health care as a privilege of those who can afford it. The irony is that our current health care system ends up costing us billions more than a universal health care system would.