Can Prevention Turn the Tide of Rising Healthcare Costs? What Is True Prevention?

June 30, 2009
Category: Uncategorized

Business journals have chronicled the rise in healthcare costs for the past 30 years, and have linked them to America’s increasing inability to compete effectively in the global marketplace. The US spends more per capita than any other nation on the planet on its medical care, currently 17.5% of our GDP. According to AP articles, President Barack Obama has also blamed some of our economic troubles on the current healthcare system. He has called our medical system a “ticking time bomb” for the federal budget.

The old proverb states that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” But true preventive medicine is not the early detection screenings (followed by more and more prescription drugs at ever younger ages) that are being promoted by drug companies and allopathic medicine. According to physician and journalist Abraham Verghese in the recent Wall Street Journal article “The Myth of Prevention,” “If your preventive strategy is medical, if it involves us, if it consists of screening, finding medical conditions early, shaking the bushes for high cholesterols, or abnormal EKGs, markers for prostate cancer such as PSA, then more often than not you don’t save anything and you might generate more medical costs.” He might have added that you may also end up sicker because of drug toxicity, side effects, and interactions.
True preventive medicine, as practiced by US integrative practitioners, advises and counsels the patient to make lifestyle choices that can turn on and off genes that predispose us to chronic degenerative disease. True preventive care does not push prescriptions or procedures and does not generate billions for conventional medicine. It is not “the buzz” in the media, but rather commonsense, science-based lifestyle choices that can prevent and even reverse heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other chronic degenerative disease. Consumers, guided by their integrative practitioners, hold the power. This is the true solution to our nation’s runaway healthcare costs.
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