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U.S. Paying Through the Nose for Poor Quality Health Care

August 07, 2008 | 34,506 views
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health care, longevity, mortality, finances, pharmaceutical companies, health care costsAmerican medical care is the most expensive in the world, and it is definitely not worth every penny. A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund highlights the stark contrast between what the United States spends on its health system and the quality of care it delivers.

The report shows that the United States spends more than twice as much on each person for health care as most other industrialized countries. But it has fallen to last place among those countries in preventing avoidable deaths through use of timely and effective medical care.

The latest American Human Development Index by the Social Science Research Board also reveals shocking results: the U.S. ranks 42nd in global life expectancy, and 34th in survival of infants.

Additionally, a 30- year gap now exists in the average life expectancy between Mississippi, in the Deep South, and Connecticut, in prosperous New England.

Huge disparities have also opened up in income, health and education depending on where people live in the US, according to the report.

These findings are likely to provide supporting evidence for the notion that the nation’s health care system needs to be fixed.

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

There’s no doubt that the U.S. health care system is in dire need of a radical overhaul. However, I want to make it perfectly clear that what’s NOT needed is: 

  • more stringent drug treatment protocols
  • more inoculations for every potential disease known to man, nor
  • increased use of “preventive drug treatments,” such as administering statin drugs to obese pre-teens or handing out antidepressants to pregnant women to ward off potential baby blues 

All of these ideas are firmly entrenched as being “good medicine,” and are part and parcel of the current conventional “health care” paradigm.  

The idea that prescription drugs prevent and cure disease -- that is what has to change if Americans want to increase their health, happiness, longevity, and standard of living. 

Do You Expect to Get What You Pay For? 

If you’re like most people, you probably have certain expectations about the quality of the products you buy. You probably expect your laptop computer to make it through at least a year or two before crashing, or your car to operate smoothly for a certain number of miles before needing to pay for additional repairs, for example.  

So, what do you expect to get when you’re faced with an ailment or disease and your physician – or worse yet, a slick advertisement -- “sells” you on a particular surgical procedure or drug treatment?  

Do you expect it to improve your health and live up to its advertised ideals?  

Well, what this 2008 Scorecard confirms is that the U.S. health system is in a continual downward spiral – something I’ve been warning people about for more than two decades -- and despite the ever-increasing amounts of money invested, your chances of attaining good health through it are only getting worse. 

The U.S. now ranks LAST out of 19 countries for unnecessary deaths – deaths that could have been avoided through timely and effective medical care.                                                                  

We actually fell from 15th to 19th, despite the vastly increased use of a wide variety of “wonder drugs” and vaccines. Imagine that. Now, can you imagine how many diseases and deaths could actually be prevented if we focused on promoting healthy lifestyles and reduced consumption of toxic drugs and unnecessary medical procedures?  

Grim Statistics of a Country Beholden to Big Pharma 

Some of the most frustrating statistics gleaned from these two reports are those relating to preventable mortality, preventable diseases, and lack of drug safety. 

  • Preventable mortality: Whereas other nations improved their rate of preventable deaths by an average of 16 percent, the U.S. improved its rate by a mere 4 percent, which is why we dropped from 15th to dead last.

    I can’t help but think back to Michael Moore’s controversial documentary SICKO, in which a European physician describes how he gets financial incentives for teaching his patients preventive measures that reduce his patient load!

  • Chronic Debilitating Disease: More than one of every six American working-age adults (18 percent) were unable to work or carry out everyday activities because of health problems in 2006—up from 15 percent in 2004.

    Again, this statistic shows that conventional physicians are not getting any better at prescribing preventive measures or effective treatments of chronic disease. They’re getting worse. But pharmaceutical sales have increased dramatically…

  • Safety risks: How dangerous is conventional medicine? One-third of adults with health problems reported mistakes in their care in 2007, and rates of visits to physicians or emergency departments for adverse drug effects increased by one-third between 2001 and 2004.

High Time to Identify the Driving Force Behind U.S. Abysmal Health Statistics

Please understand that the drug companies and food industries are THE primary forces behind most of the terrible health statistics of the U.S. This is not an accident at all, or some terrible oversight.

This is by design.

If you haven’t been reading this newsletter that statement may come as a surprise, but from my perspective this is the unfortunate truth.

The drug industry has been able to manipulate and control the U.S. Congress  to pass just about any and every law they need to increase their profits.. Once you understand how they control the government, you realize how they are diverting hundreds of billions of dollars for their hyperinflated drug prices. This goes into their own coffers; for their own good -- NOT for the good of the public.

It is this diversion of funding that is the primary reason why American health is so poor. If these funds were spent wisely and not stolen for products that don’t work and that aren’t safe, there is no doubt in my mind the United States would lead the world in health stats.

This year the U.S. will spend $2.5 trillion dollars on health care, but by 2017, health care spending is projected to exceed $4 TRILLION. This is largely due to the costs of drugs and surgery and a reliance on a medical system that treats only symptoms and never the cause of disease.

Now, I would not mind one bit if spending two and half trillion dollars provided major benefits, but as this study shows, by nearly every available index, this large multitrillion dollar investment is a miserable failure.

Maybe Americans just need to learn to appreciate thrift, and realize that some of the best ways to improve your health are very inexpensive. Some are even free.

How To Survive in a Diseased Health Paradigm

Folks, you CAN Take Control of Your Health. You don't have to stand for this nonsense anymore, ever. Learn what you need to stop being deceived by drug company lies and deceptions. Tell your family, friends and neighbors, and be a beacon of light.

I am confident that with tools like the Internet, the days are numbered for the drug companies, and collectively we will stop this unwise and foolish expenditure of resources. It is a massive David vs. Goliath battle, but there is no doubt in my mind that the victory will be ours.

There are a number of basic strategies you can use to avoid getting sucked into the current disease-care paradigm. Following these guidelines will be a powerful way to avoid premature aging, and improve your health in your old age so you can far exceed the U.S. national average life expectancy.

  1. Eat a healthy diet that’s right for your nutritional type (paying very careful attention to keeping your insulin levels down)
  2. Drink plenty of clean water
  3. Manage your stress
  4. Exercise
  5. Sunlight
  6. Limit toxin exposure
  7. Consume healthy fat
  8. Eat plenty of raw food
  9. Optimize insulin and leptin levels
  10. Get plenty of sleep

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