PREVENTION: HABITS AND LIFESTYLE

While politicians battle over repealing or keeping Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act), the country is slipping into a bottomless pit.  Health deterioration is fueling runaway health care costs with or without Obamacare. 

A recent study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services projected healthcare costs to RISE 5.8% per year for the next 10 years. At this rate, healthcare spending will double in 12 years. There are reasons to believe the growth rate will be higher and double even sooner. Here are some grim statistics taken from an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola:

  • “Obesity rates are on the rise, and one in five deaths is now linked to obesity.

  • We are in the midst of a worldwide diabetes epidemic. In the US, more than 86 million adults age 20 and over have prediabetes.

    Of that number, nearly 30 million already have type 2 diabetes — a statistic researchers predicted in 2001 wouldn’t be reached until 2050.

    Diabetes has increased over 300 percent in just 15 years, and all told, nearly ONE-THIRD of the 320 million people living in America today have either prediabetes or some form of diabetes.

  • One in eight Americans aged 65 and over currently have Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to rise to one in four within the next 20 years.

    At present, more than half a million Americans die from Alzheimer’s disease each year, making it the third leading cause of death in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.

  • Cancer rates are projected to rise 57 percent in the next 20 years, with 13 million people dying from cancer each year.

  • Over half of the US population has at least one clinically diagnosable allergy, and allergies and diseases of the immune system have possibly quadrupled in the last few decades. “

The baby boom generation now beginning to impact Medicare is the largest and sickest ever.  Those younger are even worse. Type 2 diabetes used to be called “Adult onset diabetes”, but kids under 10 are now getting it. The “adult” part is obsolete. Imagine what these kids will go through and how much they will add to the future cost of healthcare. Most of these younger diabetics are most likely obese and sedentary thus raising their risks for added illnesses.

Dr. Mercola has pointed out in another article that obesity is about to pass cigarette smoking as the number one cause of cancer. All of this is a formula for future disaster.

We have a serious problem with advertising promoting sweet refined carbohydrates. There is little counter advertising warning of their dangers. Warning labels like those on cigarettes would be a good start.

We don’t get enough physical movement.

It’s very tough to get government action on this due to Republican ideology against government and the advertisers buying off politicians with campaign contributions.

We must become more politically active in running the parties to overthrow the corruption and narrow ideological thinking that runs our government.  We have to:

  • Expand Medicare to cover everyone as Canada, France, Italy, Japan and many other advanced nations do.

  • Create price controls on drugs and reorganize how drugs are produced. We rely too heavily on drugs. Drug advertising should be eliminated. New Zealand and the U.S. are the only two nations that allow it.

  • Pass federal hospital safety standards and price guidelines.

  • Subsidize primary care physician training.

  • Prevention of illness must become a high priority. This means not getting sick in the first place. Early detection “preventive” screening is already too late. Prevention is lifestyle choices or habits that allow the body’s incredible ability to maintain itself to do so. If you want to save yourself and loved ones from much of this I recommend the newsletters of Dr. Mercola and Dr. Weil.

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