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Real health care reform starts with individuals changing the way they think about health and the role of the health care system in their lives. Dr. Tina Marcantel is a naturopathic doctor practicing in Gilbert, Arizona, and serving the East Valley cities of Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Queen Creek, Apache Junction, and the greater Phoenix area.

A new “health care reform” bill has just been passed and signed into law. The political rhetoric surrounding it has been extreme, as anyone with eyes and ears knows. On one side the bill has been extolled as the dawning of a new age of health care for our country; on the other side the bill is seen as another step down the slippery slope of socialism. Time will tell which side (if either) will be proven right about their claims.

We’re big on the idea of health care reform, too, but we’ve avoided wading into this particular fray because we believe it largely misses the point when it comes to meaningful change. In the end the new bill is essentially about reforming how health insurance (both private and government-sponsored) is regulated. But we believe that–to paraphrase Ronald Reagan–in this present crisis health insurance is not the solution to our problem; health insurance is the problem.

Over the last few decades the health insurance industry (along with big pharmaceutical companies) have been given so much power that they have been the ones shaping what health care in America looks like. Patients are told what doctors they can or cannot see and what hospitals or clinics they can or cannot visit. Doctors are told how long a patient visit can be, what procedures will be reimbursed, and what testing can be ordered. Our national insurance addiction has created a generation of both patients and doctors who have turned over control of their health care to big business. (More on this subject in an upcoming post.)

The good news: there really is a significant heath care reform movement in progress. It’s made up of people like you. You’re reading this now because you’re interested in getting out of the broken health care system and taking back control of your health and well-being. If you’re a patient of Dr. Marcantel, a recipient of our newsletter, or a visitor to our DrMarcantel.com website you’ve already begun that journey on the road to reform. It doesn’t mean that you’ve sworn off traditional doctors and medicines; it means you’re adopting a new way of thinking about what health care is and what your personal role is when it comes to staying healthy.

We recently ran across an excellent article in Generation Health magazine that featured an interview with Dr. Andrew Weil, considered by many to be the father of the integrative medicine movement in our country. Weil says that, “At the root of good health care is an acceptance of each individual’s responsibility for their own health.” This means that people must be willing to educate themselves about proper nutrition, learn more about their health challenges, seek out alternative therapies when necessary, and take financial responsibility for their health care, as well.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be publishing several blogs relating to the topic of the grassroots movement for health care reform in our country. As part of this series we’ll invite you to view several videos from an interview Dr. Marcantel recently did that cover topics ranging from why she became a naturopathic doctor to her philosophy of medicine to where she sees the movement going. In the meantime, we want to congratulate you for being part of the groundswell that will eventually wash over America as part of real health care reform.