There has been a lot of talk and energy as of late surrounding our need for a health care overhaul in America. Many “solutions” have been proposed, some viable, some not. But they all seem to have one thing in common- they just treat the symptoms of the problem instead of fixing the actual problem.
Given that we are talking about fixing a system that generally operates on symptom-based model instead of a problem-based model, this is no surprise. So what is the actual problem and how do we fix it?
The real problem is this: too many people are sick.
Sounds too simple right? When put that way, it almost sounds as if more medical coverage for more people will fix the problem. However, when we say “sick,” we’re not talking about sore throats and fevers that a course of antibiotics can fix up in a week. In this case, we’re talking about chronic illnesses, things like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Illnesses that take a lot of time and money to fix.
Furthermore, these are considered preventable diseases. Most of us know that by making better food choices and staying active, we can significantly decrease our risk of developing heart disease or diabetes as well as the myriad of complications that can arise from such degenerative diseases.
However, just a brief look at the statistics will show that though we may think we know how to stay healthy, few us actually are. Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. Over 60% of the adult population in the U.S. is now considered obese. The treatment of Type II diabetes is now costing us over 1.4 billion a year. And when you think about how much money is spent year after year treating more and more citizens with these diseases, its no wonder that our premiums for health insurance are growing exponentially while covered services are cut drastically and pundits are predicting the eminent bankruptcy of Medicare.
We need less sick people in this country. But if we know what we should be doing to stay healthy, but aren’t doing it, how do we get to a place where we have less sick people and more money to take care of those who are sick when they are sick? Stay tuned as we look as some solutions for creating health and wealth for our future.
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