Sunday, August 30, 2015

Health Care or Disease Management?

It's really very simple.  The health care insurance companies and all of our predominant health care industries, like bio-medical corporations, pharmaceutical companies and various physicians groups or research laboratories often sell stock and have shareholders.  Because of this they are obligated by law to hold the profits of their investors as priority number one.  If profits are primary, health care is secondary.  

Since these companies must legally put their stockholders first they naturally strive to always show profits in their financial portfolios.  This is why insurance premium rates, that the public pays, are always steadily rising.  And this is also why we were not given a public option in the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

In his campaign, President Obama promised a "Single Payer Option" for health care.  This meant that a governmental organization would pay for and care for the health of all of our citizens so that the ones who couldn't afford it could still receive treatment.  Some call this socialized medicine.  It is what is available in England and in Canada and in much of the rest of the world.  Patients may need to wait, but everyone receives state of the art treatment, for free, and all the doctors and other providers get paid.  

Our fire departments, police departments and many other governmental organizations are "socialized."  We have free libraries, paramedics come to the house in emergencies and our children go to public schools.

But, because of existing vested interests in the health care industries, if a "Single Payer Option" type of plan was to be initiated in the United States, it would represent considerable competition for all of the existing health care industries.  Many from the public would choose the free option for their care and the profits for the health care industries would go down.  So, in order to avoid this, the "for profit" health care industries raised a considerable ruckus and thus became the ones who were selected to design our nation's health care plan.

Sadly, what feeds the "for profit" health care industry is for all of us to live fairly long, but to be sick and require lots of tests and procedures.  So, this is in part why Congress is lobbied so extensively to keep existing food subsidy laws in place.  The result is lots of very poor quality sugary and salty foods, which are very addictive, being widely available and offered very inexpensively.  Corn is subsidized and most of it is made into corn syrup.  Wheat is subsidized and is converted into refined flour which is purely empty calories with little to no nutritional value.  And then there is meat, which without subsidies would cost something like $36 per pound.   These are the foods that we know erode our good health.  We are not subsidizing lots of organic fruits and vegetables even though we know they would help all of us to become healthier.

Another piece to this puzzle is that medical professionals are rewarded with more pay for more productivity.  This means that the more patients they see in a day and the more procedures and tests they order, the more they get paid.  The result is very short office visits with no time to educate patients, or do coaching, about healthy life style choices.  Clearly this system is broken and must be fixed.  But how do we free ourselves from such a sticky bog of disease management.

Fortunately there is an answer.  It is taking the care of our health into our own hands.  But it requires  stepping out of that system that seeks to keep us sick, but still alive.  Many of our contemporary alternative health care pioneers have shown us time and again how to care for ourselves.  Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Paavo Airola and Dr. Richard Schulze, all tell us that diet and lifestyle changes will keep us healthy.  Not only that, they will keep us out of doctors offices and reduce our nation's health care costs significantly. 

If we pay careful attention to avoiding the things that we now know cause us harm, like: food additives and processed foods, GMO's, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and diets heavy in animal products and refined carbohydrates then we are likely to live long and healthy lives, especially if we meditate and get our exercise. 

What really matters here is your health and the health of your family and the health of the people you care about, not corporate profits.  And your best health insurance is love, how you love and care for your body, how you love and care for your family, how you love the food that you eat, the people who grew it, and how you love your environment.  It is really very simple, the foundation for excellent health is love.

© Josephine Laing, 2015


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