Interesting article on health care reform

I quickly read it, and agree with most if not all of it, especially this quote:

In a sense, we have never really had a healthcare system in America. We have had a sick care system…

In dealing with the problems of the current state of health care, and the problems of the proposed system, the author suggests a paradigm shift, to “a healthcare option known as primary prevention.” I would wager that most of you readers are already enthusiastic about “primary prevention” in your own lives — many people who choose natural birth also choose other “natural” things like cloth diapers, organic soaps and detergents, organic food, whole foods, high-quality vitamins, etc. You believe “the best defense is a good offense.” I agree. In reading this article, particularly the following section, I was reminded of what I saw on a daily basis while working at the pharmacy. First, here’s the quote:

Part of our problem today is that Americans’ eating habits are terrible. Too many of us virtually live on nutrient-deficient processed food and junk food. We ingest too much sugar and too many damaging chemical additives ranging from flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial sweeteners that are worse than sugar (e.g., aspartame, a known carcinogen), and preservatives the long-term effects of which aren’t even understood. We do not get enough minerals such as calcium. All of these contribute to the long term deterioration of our health, and in society at large, they guarantee that our healthcare problems will continue to worsen with time.

Everyone knows about the worrisome levels of obesity, including in teenagers and even children. Kids are obese because they eat too much junk with no significant nutritional content. While of course people’s systems are different and some are more genetically vulnerable to certain conditions than others, many disease conditions can be linked directly to the absence of primary prevention practices. If we had been taking primary prevention seriously all along, we would have less diabetes, less heart disease, fewer cancers, fewer breathing disorders, fewer sleep disorders, less osteoporosis, and possibly less Alzheimer’s disease which is being seen at younger and younger ages.

I think about the young woman already on medicine for diabetes (and significantly overweight), who had to move the open package of cookies off of her purse to pay for her blood sugar medicine. And the car full of smokers with the two asthmatic kids in the back seat. And the many, many people who went from good or marginally good health to poorer and poorer health as the years went on — it seemed like one pill merely beget the need for another pill. It was symptom control, not prevention. These weren’t senior citizens who might be expected to have failing health in their “twilight years,” but middle-aged folks who shouldn’t be that sick. (I think that even more now, as I get ever closer to middle age [and my husband is 8 years closer than I am!])

Click here to read the rest.

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