SALEM, Or., January 4, 2012 ― The United States has the best acute care and disease management system in the world.
You may not realize how bad health is in the U.S. We are getting ill far earlier and living far longer with compromised health.
Of every three Americans, the odds are that one will develop diabetes and its complications. Stand in line at your supermarket. Look at the person ahead of you and the one behind you: One of you (one in three) will be diagnosed with cancer. One in two Americans will develop cardiovascular disease and will have a heart attack or a stroke. One in five (22 percent) will develop Alzheimer’s disease; you may joke about “senior moments,” but there’s a good chance they’ll become a reality for you or for someone close to you. Almost three fourths of us are overweight and will struggle with the consequences.
Our children are not faring much better. One in three children is overweight, and it gets worse:
One in six has learning disabilities.
One in nine has asthma.
One in ten has ADHD.
One in 12 has food allergies.
One in 20 has seizures.
One in 54 boys is autistic.
One in 88 children is autistic.
The problem is more than personal. Ill health is a burden on our society. We are on our way to being buried by our health problems within a generation. Everyone will pay for this, and not just via insurance premiums. Health insurance does nothing to to improve health. All insurance does is offer a better chance that a health provider will be paid.
We’re entering a new stage of ACA (Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare) provisions. An Obamacare surcharge will now add 3.8 percent to capital gains taxes. Obamacare provisions will further drive our country into a health catastrophe, because millions more people will be channeled into the same bad health care system. Americans will trade good dollars for bad health.
Many states are working to implement the ACA and build an insurance marketplace. The remaining states have until February 15, 2013 to apply for a State Partnership Exchange. This new health care distribution will be doled out by more than 1,400 IRS agents, our new purveyors of healthcare. That is, they are the new bill collectors for this new system of health insurance.
What will happen as millions more people in desperate need of modern healthcare are added to the system? Our population is aging, and just as the numbers will overwhelm our ability to pay for Social Security and Medicare, they will swamp our healthcare system and hugely drive up costs. And that system is not working well now.
We aren’t in need of more insurance, more drugs, or more physicians. We need fundamental changes to the concept of health, and the transformation of our health delivery system from one that deals with illness to one that promotes good health. We don’t have that now, and in the next decade that lack will kill us economically and literally. It isn’t too soon to reform health care in America.
Dr Peter Lind practices metabolic and neurologic chiropractic in his wellness clinic in Salem, Oregon. USA. He is the author of 3 books on health, one novel, and hundreds of wellness articles. His clinical specialty is in physical, nutritional, and emotional stress.
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