Healthcare and the Irregardless Effect

Since the doings in Washington DC these days are pretty much eclipsing any other avenue of conversation these days, I figured I would try to chime in, in some reasonably productive way.

One of my favorite Principles of Applied Stupidity is the Irregardless Effect. For those who do not know, the Irregardless Effect refers to making a great big intentional mistake over here, to distract viewers from what you are really doing somewhere else.  It’s a little like shining a bright light in someone’s eyes so they can’t see that you are robbing them in a dimly light room. All they can see is the light.  It makes many things invisible.  It’s a very useful tool.

Anyway, with all the focus on the success or failure of Obamacare and Trumpcare, let’s try and open our pupils to the bigger picture.

Regulations out of Washington are always going to bother someone, but the real issue of “health care” (which is really sickness care) is far far broader than the cost of people in white coats x raying you and cutting you up and selling you pills.

If American health care is to be effective as a “system,” it can’t just limit itself to one little piece of last minute crisis care and addressing symptoms as they come up. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; and, simply stated, the real issue at hand, one that no one wants to talk about, is American lifestyles.

To be effective, any real “healthcare” legislation has to include a raft of new laws regarding nutrition, exercise, and rest.

That sounds simple, but then you get into the sugar lobby, the corn lobby, the fast food lobby, and the milk lobby, just to name a few. Then there is just the simple issue of fatigue. People in other countries need less doctor-needed health “care” because they get more rest, which is the cheapest form of “healthcare” known to man. Are we ready to pass laws (again) making it illegal to work your tech start-up employees 80 hours a week?

These are all commonly known common sense fixes, and I am not suggesting anything new. Nor do such suggestions, by themselves, come even close to being a “fix.” What I hope to do is start the fix process, by bringing to collective consciousness some of the problems that are deftly avoiding the limelight by use of the Irregardless Effect. As long as you are in a dither hating Obama, or Hillary, or Trump, you will have no time to think about sugar or corn subsidies and food labeling laws. The corporate food producers who shun the limelight are thrilled to death that no slow news days are making them targets of reporters who have nothing else to do.

There is tremendous financial benefit to certain parties in our society to maintain very unhealthy lifestyles. But if we are serious about improving health care, first we have to talk about improving health, and recognize that there are entities that stand to gain by maintaining a nightly circus of personality conflicts, thus distracting media attention from themselves.  There is great power in the Irregardless Effect.

– JL

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4 Responses to Healthcare and the Irregardless Effect

  1. Gene Lindsey says:

    Justin,

    There is a lot of wisdom in your analysis. What most people call healthcare is just “repaircare.” We want to do what we want to do until something gets broken and then have a fix that takes the least effort.

    The most effective way to be healthy is to preserve your health through care that seeks to avoid what will eventually cause a need for repair and to intervene on what needs to be changed or repaired as early as possible. I call that “anticipatory” care.

    What you point out is that there are those in our society who profit from activities that create the need for “repair care” and have no interest in reducing their margin or market by promoting activities and an environment where the chances of staying healthy are maximized. Well done!

    Gene Lindsey, MD

  2. Justin Locke says:

    Wow I am moving up in the world when Gene Lindsey is commenting on my blog! 🙂 Thank you Gene. (For readers interested in the getting the real inside scoop on healthcare management I highly recommend his newsletter and blog at

    http://strategyhealthcare.com/author/genel/

    🙂

  3. M L de Jony says:

    Justin,

    When your uncle doles out other people’s money for healthcare…you will begin to see them regulate you with “preventive care”. Are those taxes on soda pop an a disguised measure of “preventative care”? A forced smile also works as ” preventive care”.

    M. de Jony (smiley face goes here)

  4. Kali Patrick says:

    Interesting take…yes a (dare I say) holistic healthcare system needs to include preventative care and as a practitioner and a patient, I wish it would. Unfortunately corporations and government are making lots of $ selling packaged foods and other things that make us sick, then they get to offer synthetic pills to reduce pains, encourage artificial rest, etc. This cycle is quite the lucrative industry and too many people are only thinking about how to preserve status quo vs. a better way that included more preventative and “alternative” modalities, like acupuncture, chiropractic, yoga therapy, herbs, etc.)

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