Healthcare, Not Disease-Care
Posted on Monday, January 26th, 2009
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal published an excellent opinion piece by Deepak Chopra, Dean Ornish, Rustum Roy and Andrew Weil. While we have had occasional bones to pick with these folks, we are really pleased with this call to President Obama to consider the use of holistic therapies and a truly preventive approach when trying to improve the American healthcare system. For as the authors note:
Our “health-care system” is primarily a disease-care system. Last year, $2.1 trillion was spent in the U.S. on medical care, or 16.5% of the gross national product. Of these trillions, 95 cents of every dollar was spent to treat disease after it had already occurred. At least 75% of these costs were spent on treating chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, that are preventable or even reversible.
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The disease that accounts for more premature deaths and costs Americans more than any other illness is almost completely preventable simply by changing diet and lifestyle. And the same lifestyle changes that can prevent or even reverse heart disease also help prevent or reverse many other chronic diseases as well. Chronic pain is one of the major sources of worker’s compensation claims costs, yet studies show that it is often susceptible to acupuncture and Qi Gong. Herbs usually have far fewer side effects than pharmaceuticals.
You can read the whole thing here.
We sincerely hope that our new president will take these words to heart and let them influence policy.