The latest cost estimates for health care legislation in Congress are about $1.6 trillion over 10 years, according to two Senate sources.
Two Senate staffers, one Democratic and one Republican, said the Congressional Budget Office made the estimate for the Finance Committee version of the bill. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee version would cost $1 trillion over ten years, but would only cover about one-third of the nearly 50 million uninsured.
The staffers who disclosed the latest estimates spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of negotiations over the legislation.
A Finance Committee Democratic aide, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, indicated committee members are working to lower the cost to less than $1 trillion over 10 years, a level preferred by the Obama administration.
Health care reform is finally on the table, but there’s little agreement about the cure for the current system. And, if you ask me, it appears that what the public really wants, and what the government is willing to consider are two different animals.
Health care as a cash cow may simply be too deeply entrenched in the consciousness of the industry and their paid lackeys to be able to provide what people want: healthier and more inexpensive options, and the freedom to choose; to have alternatives to dangerous prescription drugs and unnecessary surgeries.
In the video above, Congressman Ron Paul, who is also an M.D., gives his perspective on the past and future of medicine in the U.S., and the effects of government and special interests on quality, costs and access.
Big Pharma, Big Business, Big Disaster
One of the problems in our current system, he says, is the lack of competition, partly due to too much government intervention.
I would agree with that sentiment, and add that not only do we lack competition within the allopathic field, but we also lack true competition between the allopathic and alternative medicine fields. True competition will only occur once alternative medicine is embraced and fully allowed to BE an officially viable alternative to conventional treatments.
As it stands now, recent media coverage has shown you just how dire your situation can get if you dare refuse conventional medical treatment and opt for other less dangerous alternatives.
A recent slew of articles also indicate there might be an organized campaign underway to undermine the validity and effectiveness of alternative medicine in the mind of the public.
Is it any wonder that we’re fighting an uphill battle?
Not really, because as I’ll show you a bit later in this article, Big Pharma is at the very core of this mess, and so far no one is addressing the underlying paradigm that is the crux of our current health care problem.
Why are U.S. Health Care Costs so High?
If you didn’t already know this, American medical care is the most expensive in the world. The U.S. spends more than twice as much on each person for health care as most other industrialized countries. And yet it has fallen to last place among those countries in preventing avoidable deaths through use of timely and effective medical care.
That the system is fatally flawed and in need of a radical overhaul is self-evident.
According to a 2008 report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 90 percent of Americans believe our medical system should be “completely rebuilt” or that “fundamental changes” are required.
A recent article on the WIP.net web site points out numerous reasons why health care costs have run amok. One major problem that is inflating costs is the staggering number of medically unwarranted surgeries being performed each year.
Topping the list of the most over-utilized surgeries in the U.S. are cesarean sections and hysterectomies.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 31 percent of the 4.3 million births in 2006 were surgical, at a price tag of anywhere between $2,000 and $200,000 each. Planned cesarean births cost an average 76 percent more than a vaginal birth, according to a 2007 report published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
And the rate of hysterectomies in America is nothing short of appalling.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of American women have had their female organs removed by the age of 60.
By the age of 65, HALF of all women have had a hysterectomy!
But that’s not the most shocking part of the statistics. In her WIP article, Nora Coffey states:
“Findings from more than 850,000 counseling sessions at the HERS Foundation in Philadelphia puts the percentage of hysterectomies that could be avoided with conservative treatment (or no treatment at all) at about 98 percent.”
More than $17 billion a year is spent on direct doctor and hospital charges for hysterectomies – most of which are completely unnecessary!
Clearly, unwarranted surgical interventions are costing tax payers billions of dollars each year, in the form of Medicare/Medicaid payouts or higher insurance premiums.
Doctors and hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies, of course. tr
Are YOU Ready to Root Out the Driving Force Behind Skyrocketing Costs and Falling Health Statistics?
The truth is that the terrible health statistics of the U.S. are primarily caused by the drug cartel and the food industry. Worse yet, it’s not by accident, nor by ignorant oversight, which is why no politician will likely ever be able to fix it.
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 money goes into their own pockets and has nothing to do with making you healthier.
There is NO PILL that can make you healthier! They can only mask symptoms, and more often than not cause additional health problems.
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 used 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.
So, the question I ask myself when I watch this ongoing drama with politicians squabbling over private- versus government-funded health care insurance plans is:
Will Any Of The Options On The Table Fix The Underlying Problem?
Will a government-sponsored health plan reduce the number of unnecessary prescriptions? Will there be fewer unwarranted surgeries? Will it reduce costs by focusing on prevention, and offering less dangerous and more inexpensive alternatives?
I believe the answer is no.
The focus is still on allopathic medicine; the ability for everyone to afford its conventional therapies and treatment protocols.
So whether a public health care plan is a good idea or not is almost beside the point, because what we REALLY need is a radical change in consciousness about what health and health care really is.
As long as the focus of our health care is on drugs and surgical interventions, we will never see the fundamental changes that are so desperately needed.
No politician will be able to accomplish this feat, so sitting around waiting for it is futile. It can only be done by YOU changing how you think about health care and your health.
It can only be accomplished one person at a time, until so many people refuse the unnecessarily dangerous and counterproductive solutions currently offered by conventional medicine that there will be no option left but for the system to change to your will.
But we cannot dawdle too long.
Some are already blowing their warning trumpets, showing why, when it comes to demanding health care insurance coverage for all, you should be careful what you ask for.
A Natural Health Line article by Peter Chowka reads:
“… we have a date for the official end of alternative medicine, and for the medical freedom on which alternative medicine is based: October 2009.
On June 12, 2009, the U.S. press reported that President Obama wants a universal health care bill on his desk by next October. The Democrats in Congress are promising to give it to him. Not only will such legislation unalterably change the practice of medicine (including exponentially expanding the role of the anti-alt med federal government), it will force all Americans to carry conventional allopathic medical insurance, whether they want it or not.
Now, consider that alternative medicine has been able to grow and thrive in recent decades because people have had the ability and choice to pay for it themselves, almost exclusively out of their own pockets. Many people who are of independent mind and who are better educated have chosen not to invest in conventional medicine, including bloated insurance for medical care they don’t want.
Instead, they often direct their personal resources to healthy lifestyles and primary prevention (such as organic food, nutritional supplements, etc.) and to non-toxic, traditional, unconventional, or alternative treatments.
When all Americans (except those who can prove poverty to a government apparatchik) will be required to pay thousands of dollars annually for allopathic insurance, the ability to choose alternatives will be severely if not totally impaired.”
This scenario may become the unfortunate reality for many, and makes universal health care coverage part of the problem, not part of the solution.
I agree with Congressman Ron Paul in that health insurance should be for major emergencies only. It doesn’t need to be the sole route for every problem, which is turning out to be a financial catastrophe.
If You Demand It, They Will Follow
Doctors, that is.
It’s very easy to cast blame on doctors. After all, medical errors are the leading cause of death in the U.S.
However, whether or not doctors succeed in upholding the Hippocratic Oath – the promise to Do No Harm – is not always entirely in their own hands.
The conventional medical system is simply not designed to give them that freedom. It’s VITAL that you understand that regardless of their personal opinions, many times they’re simply not allowed to offer you any other alternatives than what the “standard protocol” demands.
Unfortunately, that does place a certain amount of responsibility onto you, the patient. Because although there may be much safer means to help with your ailment, if you go to a conventional physician, he or she is likely not going to tell you about them unless you ask, and ask in an appropriate way. This previous article highlights this issue and offers guidance on how you can best work WITH your doctor to get the best care.
Medical Doctors are Leaving the Profession in Droves
The fact that many American doctors are as fed up with (and victims of) the system as you are, is evident by the fact that:
- One U.S. physician commits suicide each day. On the average, death by suicide is about 70 percent more likely among male physicians than among other professionals, and 250 percent to 400 percent higher among female physicians
- Half of all physicians want to quit practicing three years after receiving their degrees
Why do so many doctors want out?
One major factor is “factory medicine” and the subsequent loss of autonomy to make the best decisions for each patient on a case-by-case basis, as discussed by Dr. Pamela Wible in the July issue of Spirituality & Health Magazine.
Based on her own frustration with the system, followed by depression and wanting to quit, she developed a brand new community-based health care clinic that includes what her community said they wanted from “the clinic of their dreams.” (To read more about this pioneering doctor, who took matters into her own hands rather than giving up, please see her website.)
She believes many doctors are literally dying to be allowed to truly care for their patients in a space of cooperation and trust.
Nearly every available index shows that the current multitrillion dollar investment in disease-care is a miserable failure.
Isn’t it time to realize that some of the best ways to improve your health are very inexpensive? Some are even free. And leave major medical insurance for actual emergencies.