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future pather
06-25-2009, 06:41 PM
Evidence that at least some in high places are thinking straight about health :


Op-Ed Contributor: Shifting America from sick care to genuine wellness

By Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)

Washington, DC — With the Senate health committee convening daily to craft a comprehensive health reform bill, the basic outline of this landmark legislation is now clear.

Yes, it will ensure access to affordable, quality care for every American. But, just as important, it will hold down health care costs by creating a sharp new emphasis on disease prevention and public health.

As the lead Senator in drafting the Prevention and Public Health section of the bill, I view this legislation as our opportunity to recreate America as a genuine wellness society – a society that is focused on prevention, good nutrition, fitness, and public health.

The fact is, we currently do not have a health care system in the United States; we have a sick care system. If you’re sick, you get care, whether through insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, community health centers, emergency rooms, or charity. The problem is that this is all about patching things up after people develop serious illnesses and chronic conditions.

We spend a staggering $2.3 trillion annually on health care – 16.5 percent of our GDP and far more than any other country spends on health care – yet the World Health Organization ranks U.S. health care only 37th among nations, on par with Serbia. [:eek: ]

We spend twice as much per capita on health care as European countries, but we are twice as sick with chronic disease.

How can this be so? The problem is that we have systematically neglected wellness and disease prevention. Currently in the United States, 95 percent of every health care dollar is spent on treating illnesses and conditions after they occur. But we spend peanuts on prevention.

The good news in these dismal statistics is that, by reforming our system and focusing on fighting and preventing chronic disease, we have a huge opportunity. We can not only save hundreds of billions of dollars; we can also dramatically improve the health of the American people.

Consider this: Right now, some 75 percent of health care costs are accounted for by heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and obesity. What these five diseases and conditions have in common is that they are largely preventable and even reversible by changes in nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle.

Listen to what Dr. Dean Ornish told our Senate health committee: “Studies have shown that changing lifestyle could prevent at least 90 percent of all heart disease. Thus, the disease that accounts for more premature deaths and costs Americans more than any other illness is almost completely preventable, and even reversible, simply by changing lifestyle.” . . . .

Op-Ed Contributor: Shifting America from sick care to genuine wellness - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/20090625/ts_ynews/ynews_ts408)

ImBill
06-25-2009, 07:17 PM
Hip-hip-hooray!!! However, this effort cannot start with the health care institutions in this country. It has to start with our kids, our entertainment industry, our advertisers, and our food providers. Kids need to be educated about the health benefits of eating right so that they can then monitor what their parents are trying to feed them. The entertainment industry needs to portray health and help show us how to achieve it. They also need to be a little more discriminating about where their advertising dollars come from. The big food conglomerates need to revamp their product lines and methods of production. Lastly, we, the people, need to demand better quality and get ugly if we don't get it. We need to lose the complacency.

I guess it boils down to love and cooperation on a broad scale. We have to love ourselves enough to want to change and then cooperate to make it happen.

Electrotek
06-26-2009, 01:01 AM
I think everyone should be responsible for their own health. I don't trust the government to do anything but raise taxes. And I've been down on the AMA my entire life. My last physical was in 1959. But I'm healthier than anyone I know. Soon to be 60, I don't have any pain anywhere in my body. Why? It's because I watch what I eat, I refuse to take drugs, and I'm in tune with my self, my situation, and my overall condition. And if something terminal comes up, guess what? I'm going to croak the same as I would if someone made me take some medicine.

Any mandated health care is going to do nothing but take money out of my pocket.

Doc
07-05-2009, 09:57 PM
After many years in the medical industry this effort is well meaning but will in my opinion be unsustainable. The problem is simply "human nature" will not allow it. this is a generalization of course and there will always be the people who want alternative medicine but unless there is a mojor shake up, things will not change. The major shake up will result in massive job losses and billions in lost revenue... sorry never going to happen, at least not to the degree I and many others wish...perhaps in 50 years time.

jibbguy
07-05-2009, 11:51 PM
People lost their jobs when they stopped using leaches and "scarifiers" for letting blood, too ;)

The huge profits in health care (in both insurance and "modern medicine") are the evils that are stopping natural cures, and even Preventive Medicine, from being widely accepted. Take out the huge profit margins to the pharms and the private insurance companies, and see how fast the cheaper, and better, all natural and un-Patentable alternatives become mainstream ;)

One dollar out of three spent on healthcare goes to private insurers in the US... They are parasites on society that profit from denying healthcare to the sick. The vast majority of personal bankruptcies in this country are caused by outrageous medical bills; which have risen several times more than inflation has, for close to 30 years now. Lol, yet this wonderful "free market" healthcare system has a LOWER success rate than that of many countries with have universal not-for profit healthcare... These countries were smart enough to kick out the parasites many years ago.

Our manufacturing sector is saddled with huge medical insurance costs that their competitors in other countries don't have.... About $1,600 of the cost of a new US-built car goes for workers' healthcare costs; in Japan (...that has this damned communist "Socialized Medicine" lol), the cost per car is about $30 .

How's that for "free market trade" lol?

The pharmaceutical corporations are spending hundreds of billions on public relations, direct marketing to doctors, and Washington lobbyists.. More money than they actually spend on research. The great majority of their so-called "advances" come from Universities and the N.I.H. system... Paid for by our tax dollars anyway. Then they write-off billions more off their corporate taxes for "R&D costs"... So despite being the most profitable imaginable business, they somehow pay very little corporate taxes.

Essentially they are double-dipping in the public trough.

All so they can charge elderly and poor sick people 500% and 600% profits... Often for "designer drugs" that they convince the doctors to prescribe with out-and-out lies, that have more negative side effects than positive effects. The average Doctor in the US receives any additional training and knowledge after medical school FROM THE PHARMACEUTICAL CORPORATIONS... In essence they tell the docs what to prescribe through advertisements disguised as information. And of course the AMA is in on it.

LOL Canada forces the pharms to sell at a "Cost Plus" basis in very large quantities, that still allows the corps to have very decent profit margins. Yet Canadian drugs on-line purchased RETAIL, plus Shipping costs, will often cost 30% of what they cost here. Hehehe that is why the US government made it illegal to do so ;

How friggin stupid do these people think we are??

Lol, obviously we must be pretty stupid as a country, to put up with this ;)

I know lots of peeps who are health care givers, and all of them, and the majority of them in this nation, are for single-payer universal healthcare. Thats a fact... And about 60% of THE WHOLE COUNTRY wants it, too.

Yet the US Senate is saying now that even discussing it is: "Off the table".... lol. Next election, these Senators who are very obviously in the pharms' and the private insurers' pockets (EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS except 3, have received campaign money from them), should be "off the table" themselves ;)

Kevin
07-06-2009, 08:08 AM
Hi jibbguy,

Let me preface the following comments by saying that I am NOT a big fan of our current health care situation. Just look back at some of the posts I have made.

That said, I have a few comments and questions about your post-


People lost their jobs when they stopped using leaches and "scarifiers" for letting blood, too ;)

The huge profits in health care (in both insurance and "modern medicine") are the evils that are stopping natural cures, and even Preventive Medicine, from being widely accepted. Take out the huge profit margins to the pharms and the private insurance companies, and see how fast the cheaper, and better, all natural and un-Patentable alternatives become mainstream ;)

I question profit, even huge profits being evil, or stopping natural and preventative medicine...I do not see the connection.

Thus, I do not see how cutting their profits arbitrarily will result in "cheaper, and better, all natural and un-Patentable alternatives become mainstream".

One dollar out of three spent on healthcare goes to private insurers in the US... They are parasites on society that profit from denying healthcare to the sick. The vast majority of personal bankruptcies in this country are caused by outrageous medical bills; which have risen several times more than inflation has, for close to 30 years now. Lol, yet this wonderful "free market" healthcare system has a LOWER success rate than that of many countries with have universal not-for profit healthcare... These countries were smart enough to kick out the parasites many years ago.

I don't see the insurance companies as parasites....I do see millions of individuals not willing to be responsible for themselves and taking advantage of situations via their lawyers (hesitate to call them parasites, but they are the ones that are a big part of driving up the cost for those of us that act responsibly) to get ridiculous settlements.

Our manufacturing sector is saddled with huge medical insurance costs that their competitors in other countries don't have.... About $1,600 of the cost of a new US-built car goes for workers' healthcare costs; in Japan (...that has this damned communist "Socialized Medicine" lol), the cost per car is about $30 .

How's that for "free market trade" lol?

WOW! Those figures really illustrate how out of control medical expenses are.

The pharmaceutical corporations are spending hundreds of billions on public relations, direct marketing to doctors, and Washington lobbyists.. More money than they actually spend on research. The great majority of their so-called "advances" come from Universities and the N.I.H. system... Paid for by our tax dollars anyway. Then they write-off billions more off their corporate taxes for "R&D costs"... So despite being the most profitable imaginable business, they somehow pay very little corporate taxes.

Essentially they are double-dipping in the public trough.

All so they can charge elderly and poor sick people 500% and 600% profits... Often for "designer drugs" that they convince the doctors to prescribe with out-and-out lies, that have more negative side effects than positive effects. The average Doctor in the US receives any additional training and knowledge after medical school FROM THE PHARMACEUTICAL CORPORATIONS... In essence they tell the docs what to prescribe through advertisements disguised as information. And of course the AMA is in on it.

AGREE 100% about the drug companies.

LOL Canada forces the pharms to sell at a "Cost Plus" basis in very large quantities, that still allows the corps to have very decent profit margins. Yet Canadian drugs on-line purchased RETAIL, plus Shipping costs, will often cost 30% of what they cost here. Hehehe that is why the US government made it illegal to do so ;

How friggin stupid do these people think we are??

Lol, obviously we must be pretty stupid as a country, to put up with this ;)

This problem is far larger than being able to be fixed by Government limiting the profit of the drug companies.....Canada is just able to sell drugs, that for the most part are more harmful than helpful, for less.


I know lots of peeps who are health care givers, and all of them, and the majority of them in this nation, are for single-payer universal healthcare. Thats a fact... And about 60% of THE WHOLE COUNTRY wants it, too.

I do not doubt the above statements' veracity, HOWEVER, I have yet to see a program run by the Government that could not be run better in the private sector.

I have only spoken to a few people personally outside the USA who are in a publicly funded health care system. However, every one of them has expressed to me that they do NOT like it, their options are limited, slow and unsatisfactory overall.

Yet the US Senate is saying now that even discussing it is: "Off the table".... lol. Next election, these Senators who are very obviously in the pharms' and the private insurers' pockets (EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS except 3, have received campaign money from them), should be "off the table" themselves ;)

I agree something needs to change, however, there are A LOT of $ at stake because of how the Government initially molded the direction of health care, and continue to legislate toward treatment of symptoms rather than working toward health.

Unfortunately any change on the horizon looks to be a reallocation of the same monies, married to a degradation in the speed and quality that we now experience.

One last thought...when looking at other countries and seeing they spend less to have the same or better level of care, may I suggest that the variables are NOT the doctors, drug companies, and insurance companies, but the biggest variables are the millions who take advantage of health care without paying a penny for it (either directly, thru insurance premiums, or taxes), combined with the laws, court system and lawyers that point the responsibility finger at anyone but their client and get big $ for "making someone else (doctors, hospitals, drug companies, etc.) "responsible".