Healthcare reform is such a hot topic for debate right now. Some like the idea of having government get involved to help insure everyone and others want the government to stay out, fearing socialized medicine. Healthcare costs are escalating and will continue to escalate. The problem is that most of us are not getting the big picture.
The problem with healthcare is the health of the country. For example, over 70% of healthcare expenses are for the treatment of lifestyle diseases, such as, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Many people blame genetics. However, even though a person may be genetically susceptible to certain conditions, in most cases it is the lifestyle behaviors that bring out that genetic expression. Currently, 80% of people over the age of 25 are overweight. According to a UCLA study, obesity increases a person’s yearly healthcare costs by an astounding 36% and medication costs by 77%. According to the Surgeon General, in 1996, obesity cost us $117 billion and he warned then of an impending epidemic of obesity, caused primarily by industrialization and sedentary lifestyles, that would lead to a healthcare crisis. Can you imagine what the cost is now?
The health of the people continues to decline and as long as that continues, healthcare costs will continue to rise no matter what plan is put forth. We will either pay for it in insurance premiums or taxes. I always say, “The best way to lower your healthcare costs is to get healthy.” The best way to get healthy is to change the habits that made us unhealthy. One problem is that most of us don’t truly understand what it takes to become healthy. However, there is no money in educating people on ways of improving their health, big pharma is not going to pay for it, and honestly from experience in my office, most people are not interested in educating themselves unless it is affecting their lifestyle. For example, a while back I did a free workshop in my office on osteoporosis prevention. Unfortunately, the only people who attended where women who already had osteoporosis. This is very disappointing. First of all, the information is free. Second, the people attending should have been young adults looking to lower their future healthcare costs by decreasing their future dependency on costly medicine.
I believe we need to help the sick and take care of them; however people also need to be held accountable for their health. Healthy people should not incur higher insurance premiums or taxes, because others are not taking care of themselves. It’s amazing to hear someone complain about the high cost of healthcare, then go and “supersize” their next meal. That is ridiculous. Since money talks, maybe we should reward people who are healthy with tax breaks for motivation. As a society, we should be driven to improve our health not only for our own sake, but for the future of our children and the enormous financial burden we will leave them with.
I challenge everyone to take a serious look at their health and find methods of improving it. Take advantage of opportunities to educate yourself on these methods. Find someone knowledgeable about health to act as your healthcare coach for advice, counseling and direction. And finally, empower and encourage others to do the same. The best way to reform healthcare is to reform the health of the people.
Good luck and God Bless!
Dr. Buchan and Dr. McComb are board certified doctors of chiropractic and owners of Kingwood Chiropractic Associates. They have extensive education and training in the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions and applied clinical nutrition. They are committed to helping you and your families obtain the information which is essential to achieve health and wellness, and through that process empower you to make decisions that will lead to fulfillment of your goals and a life of greater potential. For additional information on their upcoming free workshop, “Lower Cholesterol Naturally”, please visit http://www.kingwoodchiro.com/.