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July 2, 2024
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David W. Johnson
Outcomes System Dynamics

Revolutionary Times

In two years, on July 4, 2026, the United States will celebrate the 250th anniversary of its declaration of independence from Great Britain. On that long ago and remarkable July day in Philadelphia, the 56 delegates to the Second Continental Congress signed “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,” according to the National Archives. With this document, our forefathers set in motion events that would establish the United States as the leading light for liberty and democratic rule.

The Declaration itself has the following four sections:


Beginning with the stirring words:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands that have connected them with one another…, the Declaration announces the separation and the authors’ intent to explain its causes.


In just 202 words, the preamble outlines a philosophy of government that justifies revolution against an oppressive ruler. With breathtaking clarity and eloquence, the preamble begins:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


By far the document’s longest section, the authors list 28 specific grievances against Britain’s King George III and his government. These include taxation without representation, limiting trade, using unlawful force and obstructing justice.


After detailing their attempts to negotiate with their “British brethren,” the authors:

…solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States… [with the] full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

Recognizing that the Declaration would lead to war with the world’s most powerful nation, the founding fathers concluded by mutually pledging their “Lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” to one another in the battles to come.

By signing the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers made themselves fugitives from British justice and wanted men. Far more importantly, they took a stand against tyranny with the hope of creating “a more perfect union.” It’s their foresight, courage and resolve that we celebrate each Independence Day. It is on their shoulders Americans stand today with the freedom to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Wave a flag, march in a parade and enjoy a fireworks display this July 4th. While doing so, remember this country’s revolutionary origins and willingness to confront tyranny and oppression. Revolutionary thinking and calls to action are as American as apple pie. This is why the “American experiment” carries so much promise. As Americans, we know we can make our country and world better if we jump into the arena and try.

Regular consumers of 4sight Health content know that we shamelessly appropriate the language and symbols of revolutionary movements to promote healthcare transformation. Mirroring the Declaration of Independence’s editorial structure, we clearly enunciate our purpose, outline our beliefs, enumerate our grievances, and resolve to work tirelessly toward achieving a kinder, smarter and affordable healthcare system for all Americans.

Of course, a resolute status quo never gives up without a fight. After receiving notice of the Declaration, the British assembled a massive force to snuff out the United States’ nascent revolution. It sent over half its warships and 32,000 well-trained troops to crush General Washington’s untrained and ill-equipped army of 10,000 soldiers. The British launched the Battle of Brooklyn on August 27, 1776 and won a decisive victory. Washington’s ragtag army, however, managed to avoid capture. They lived to fight another day. The rest, of course, is history.

Healthcare revolutionaries confront the largest industrial complex ever created by human beings. Healthcare Inc. works tireless to line its own coffers at the expense of American society. It has done so for decades, but it now confronts an unavoidable reckoning. Irresistible macro and market forces are attacking Healthcare Inc.’s dysfunction and profligacy. Innovative health companies are reconfiguring the industry’s competitive landscape in ways that create value and serve consumers.

Like the British in 1776, Healthcare Inc. has loyalists who defend its prerogatives and sustain its illicit practices. Their safe havens are disappearing. Their days are numbered.

The coming healthcare revolution will be exponential, not incremental in scope and impact. It will reward better health outcomes, lower costs and superior customer service. It will eviscerate waste and influence-peddling. When the dust settles, the American people will enjoy greater access to care services, better health and more affluence. Collectively, we will be healthier, more productive, more connected and happier.

With rampaging chronic disease, particularly in low-income urban and rural communities, the U.S. is well on its way to becoming the land of the sick and home of the frail. Countering that trend, it’s time for all Americans to get healthier together. Toward that end, on this July 4th, let’s pledge to use our talents, energies and passions to create a more effective, efficient and equitable healthcare system of, by and for the American people

About the Author

David W. Johnson

David Johnson is the CEO of 4sight Health, an advisory company working at the intersection of healthcare strategy, economics, innovation. Johnson is a healthcare thought leader, keynote speaker, and strategic advisor to organizations busting the status-quo to reform our healthcare system. He is the author of Market vs. Medicine: America’s Epic Fight for Better, Affordable Healthcare, and his second book, The Customer Revolution in Healthcare: Delivering Kinder, Smarter, Affordable Care for All (McGraw-Hill 2019). As a speaker, Dave plays the role of rebel, challenger, industry historian, investor and company evaluator to push audiences forward. (Watch bio video.) Johnson applies his 25+ years of investment banking in healthcare to identify ways the healthcare industry must change to deliver better care. He received a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, an English degree from Colgate University, and served in the African Peace Corp service. Join over 10k+ healthcare executives who read our weekly insights and commentary on www.4sighthealth.com. His third book, Less Healthcare, More Health: The Prescription for a Happier, More Equitable and Productive America, will publish in 2024.

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