Health Care Crisis: Pt. 2

Health Care Crisis: Pt. 2

America's health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.  
–Walter Cronkite

Last week’s Impetus discussed the dilemma our nation’s health crisis due to the increasing burden of treating and managing chronic disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), treating people with chronic diseases accounts form 86% of our nation’s health care costs which is currently $3.2 trillion per year, or nearly $10.000 per person.

The Milken Institute issued an important benchmark report October 2, 2007 recommending a major overhaul of how America deals with chronic diseases. The most profound of these findings and recommendations were that “doctors and other health-care providers should be paid to manage and prevent chronic illnesses, instead of getting most of their income from treatments.” 

Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, a medical journalist who formerly worked as a medical doctor, warns that the existing health-care system too often focuses on financial incentives over health or science. Rosenthal's book, An American Sickness, examines the deeply rooted problems of the existing health-care system and offers suggestions for a way forward. She notes that under the current system, it's far more lucrative to provide a lifetime of treatments than a cure.

"One expert in the book joked ... that if we relied on the current medical market to deal with polio, we would never have a polio vaccine," Rosenthal says. "Instead we would have iron lungs in seven colors with iPhone apps."

Here is a good analogy that a friend of mine expressed to me a few days ago that really puts things in to perspective. Imagine taking your car to a mechanic and being told that the “treatment” for your automobile is going to be $1,200.

The problem won’t be fixed, but the treatment if continued will help the car function. However, the treatment may not be for every car and some cars may experience several side-effects.  But don’t worry, we have another treatment for the side-effects when you bring your car back. And then to top it all off, what if you learned that the third leading cause of total mechanical breakdowns were a result of the procedures performed by this garage? I trust many of you would seek alternative solutions for your chronic car conditions. We could always just get a new car. This is the same methodology that many of us are experiencing with our health, the problem is we can’t just get a new body, but we can change the way that we are sustaining and supporting it.

If there was ever a time for a Self Care Awakening it is NOW.  

How about not having the problem to begin with? How about having a preventative maintenance program? How about more natural and less invasive ways to help with a condition than just treating and masking the problem? How about solutions with side-benefits instead of side-effects?

The four main principles of the Self Care Awakening are not a panacea for all chronic conditions. There are many other factors involved depending on the disease being examined. However, these principles are vital to the health of us all irrespective of our current status of health.

All can benefit from reducing our body burden of toxic chemicals, being hydrated, well rested and maintaining a healthy weight.

Chronic disease is not a normal part of life. Up to 80% of chronic conditions can be prevented. My hopes are that this information and corresponding Self Care presentations have enlightened and empowered anyone to employ and share our battle cry for the Self Care Awakening,

Be Healthy by Choice, not by Chance.