Obviously Health Care is in the news these days, and I’ve promised myself to keep political content off this site. However, this article from Dr. Joel Fuhrman was just too good not to post. However you feel about Obamacare, the biggest issues facing our nation’s health have been all but completely ignored.
We may be required to buy medical insurance, but what we really need is health insurance
-by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
The Affordable Care Act was intended to make insurance coverage more secure and affordable, and insure millions of uninsured Americans. The Supreme Court has now deemed the individual mandate portion – the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance – to be constitutional.
Certainly, some aspects of medical insurance coverage are in need of reform. But a much greater need exists – the need for Americans to reform their health by reforming their diets.
Of course there will be continued debate on this subject, but when we look at the big picture (the overall health of the American people), the Supreme Court’s decision and even government involvement is irrelevant. Regardless of the government’s involvement, the health of Americans will not improve unless the eating habits of Americans improve.
The U.S. per capita health costs are the highest in the world. Health care made up more than 17% of the GDP in 2010. Health care costs rose 5.8% in the year ending February 2012, and costs are predicted to continue rising. As health care costs rise, so will insurance costs. Overconsumption of medical care (for example, overuse of diagnostic tests) is a significant driver of health care costs.1
These high costs do not bring about better outcomes than other developed countries. In the U.S. life expectancy is lower than in similarly developed nations whose per capita costs are lower.1 The U.S. is ranked 38th in life expectancy, 37th in infant mortality, and 37th in overall health outcomes, according to the World Health Organization. We cannot expect the Affordable Care Act to significantly improve the health of Americans – its aim is only to increase access to care, which also mean more needless drugs, radiation exposure and surgeries. More medical care does not translate into better health, as much of what doctors do is harmful, such as prescribe antibiotics for viral infections, perform angioplasties and bypass surgeries on stable CAD, or perform CT scans, prostatectomies and other worthless, expensive invasive interventions that serve to protect the doctor, not the patient. Actually interventions that do not extend life are worse than worthless because they create harm. People should not be denied access to care in emergencies, but overall our population (including lower income people) need less medical care, not more.
Read more and comment at DiseaseProof.com
1. Brawley OW. The American Cancer Society and the American Health Care System. Oncologist 2011;16:920-925.