Inspired by a true story and by critically acclaimed documentary – Escape Fire — Discussing where we are in health care today and what we need to do to save ourselves from a catastrophically damaging situation — share the point that sometimes the answer to our problems is often times right there staring us in the face — Its takes some courage to stare adversity in the face and make a change — Encouraged to have the internal fortitude to recognize where we are in a moment of truth and know what action to take — How you can virtually opt out of our current managed health care system. Hosted by Dr. Anthony G. Beck
Hello everyone and welcome to the Balance Protocol Podcast,
I’m Dr. Anthony G. Beck and in today’s show I’m going to go share with you a true story that I feel really has a an amazing allegory about where we are in health care today and what we need to do to save ourselves from a catastrophically damaging situation.
And to drive home the point that sometimes the answer to our problems is often times right there staring us in the face. But its takes some courage to stare adversity in the face
To have the internal fortitude to recognize where we are in a moment of truth and know what action to take. It’s tragic to think that so often the answer we are looking for is right there but in the moment not being able to recognize it.
I see this in working with patients all the time. They often know and admit they have a health problem but get so focused on the forest that they can’t see through the trees. So that brings me to the story that is the back bone to today’s show.
This story Im about to share with you is a true life story. Matter of fact you can find it if you wiki Mann Gultch. This story was subject of Norman MacLeans critically acclaimed book called Young Men & Fire and also featured in the fabulous documentary I mirror in this show called Escape Fire.
If the afternoon of august 5th 1945 a forest fire broke out in Mann Gulch Montana
A crew of 15 smoke jumpers who most were in their 20’s and a couple were only 19 with you youngest who was only 17.
Well they parachuted in and were headed by a foreman named Wagner
‘Wag’ Dodge who was the oldest of them all at age 33.
The fire exploded and was moving at over 600 feet a minute. If you don’t know, that is about 6 miles per hour but no one can sustain a pace faster than that on an incline of a mountain.
The fire fighters were trapped, but Wag Dodge had an idea. He knew that if they tried to run that they would loose the race. So in a moment of clarity he stopped, lit a match, and lit a fire at his own feet.That fire began to burn all around him and you could image what the other guys were thinking this guy is plum crazy and out of his mind.
Here they are with a huge fire already ripping to them and he goes and starts something that they see as a threat. But his idea was this….if he burned the fuel around him and the fire comes and over takes him he will be safe.
This came to be known as an Escape Fire!
He tried to get the others to join with him but no body did.That fire over took the crew. Killing 13 men and burning 3200 acres.Wag Dodge survived nearly unharmed in his escape fire.
Now that fire continued to destroy that beautiful forest for 5 more days before being controlled.
The US Forest Service drew lessons from the tragedy of the Mann Gulch fire by designing new training techniques and safety measures that developed how the agency approached wildfire suppression. The agency also increased emphasis on fire research and the science of fire behavior. This location is even included as a historical district on the US national register of historic places.
It amazing and tragic to image that the answer for us is right there but in the moment not being able to see it.This is due to people being so embedded into the status quo.
So many of us are programed and conditioned this way because of our our very limited exposure to anything else than what we subject ourselves to seeing day to day.
Just like those young men who could not recognize the wisdom that Way Dodge had. Many today can’t recognize an invention when they are right there in next to it. And they cant give up their old habits.
This is exactly what I say is the case in our health care today. We are in Mann Gultch right now. Health care is headed for really bad trouble.
In 2010, congress passed healthcare reform extending coverage to over 30 million Americans.
All I hear is how are we going to give access to more people, to the present system. The present system does not work. And it is my contention that it IS going to take us down.
To me that is not the only issue. But I’m going to get more into that later in this show. We need a whole new kind of medicine.
In the United States we spent 7 trillion on healthcare in 2011. Health care reform was a good place to start. But it does very little to solve the root problem.The tragic irony is the fact that health care reform was not written by the fire jumpers of medicine. It was written by politicians and manipulated by lobbyist.
Now don’t get me wrong, this show is not going to be a political diatribe. Matter of fact, I’m not going to even get into any of that. This is because my entire intent of sharing with you today is how to see yourself setting your own escape fire.
To virtually show you how to completely OPT OUT of our system of health care.
The question can not be “how do we provide more people with the same crappy care”. The question must become “how do we cause less people to NEED care”?
The fact is, We don’t have a health care system in this country we have a disease management system. 75% of healthcare costs go to treating chronic diseases.That’s diseases that are chronic.This means they are present over time and continuous.
Many venues within Science have proven and even agree that they are largely preventable. So when I ask people and I ask you right now to think. When you think of the image of providing health care to more people then we do now…what comes to your mind?
I ask this because its vital for our understanding and vision to be the same or at least VERY similar. Most people think of health care in the acute mind set. This means you go see the doctor when you get sick. Right?
Well that type of care is very rare comparatively speaking. Now if that just made your forehead wrinkle up. Let me explain.
The VAST majority of health care expenditures is spent on people who are “sick” or “have a disease” that has been around for many months if not years. Ex. CVD, Diabetes, Asthma
It is NOT those people who have an acute condition or illness. Ex. Cold, cut, broken bone. Most have never even thought about this fact or considered why its vital to understand the difference.
The answer is NOT that we need more care. We have PLENTY of care. Virtually no one is without access to care.
Think about it. Do you or even one person you know in this country NOT have a hospital or urgent care clinic within a reasonable drive or is without a 911 call for an ambulance?
The answer is no. We all have access to care.
Now, when it comes to regular routine health visits. Same thing. Do you or anyone you know not have a Primary care medical office within a reasonable time of travel? The fact is we all have this “access”.
What the misunderstanding here is…..people have been brain washed to use the word “access” when they should be saying “pay for it”. Ahhh HHhaa. Now the shoe hits the floor.
What people are wanting is to have health care paid for. No offense but this is the dirty secret and politically incorrect fact that no one wants to have the guts to call out.
Well,of course, except me!
For those with low to constricted income, this can and is a real issue for them. Oh I get it. I grew up poor and living in the country in a single wide trailer.
If they get sick and go to a doctor for health care, how are they going to pay for it. Now, Im not going to give this answer yet. We will come back to it.
But now that we have clarified the term “access to care” as to mean “who’s gonna pay” now we can look at the real roots of the problem facing health care in this country.
People often think more or better health care has to be a new drug or laser or something, really high tech or even expensive to be powerful.
They have a hard time realizing that simple choices we make in our lives each day can make a HUGE difference.
We are in the grip of several very big industries and they do not want to stop making money. At the executive level, what is most important is meeting wall streets expectations. And they have to because these “for profit companies” have to serve the shareholders
They forget that what they are doing is providing health care. So again, Our current health care system is unsustainable. We are spending twice as much in the US as any other country in the world.We are really and truly mortgaging the future. Not just the health of health care but the health of the nation.
In typical practices, physicians see people with chronic illness who are unable to afford things such as their medications much less pay for time to actually spend learning how to implement better health strategies.
So where in lies the problem is that that the government pays them based on the number of patients they see NOT by any measure of how the patient gets better.
Instead of basing things on outcomes, on how good of a job they are doing the government sets the reimbursements completely on number of patients they see.This is one of the places where you are relegated to being only a number.
Just one homogenized drop in the water bucket.It doesn’t matter how complicated the cases are, how much time is spent on them its just a number….1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
It forces doctors to have to play this game of ….what does this patient need vs. how much time are they willing to spend with them. Ever wonder why the typical doctors office visit goes a little something like this…
You make appointment weeks if not months in advance, you get to your appointment but still wait over an hour, then you see the doctor for 7.6 minutes and get only one complaint at a time.
Want to know why this happens? Because you are a part of a numbers game. The administration is telling them….you have to see more patients… we are in the red.
And when that doctor tries to buck the system they begin to hound them by asking them what do they have to do to get their productivity up?
I know for me personally, I am not interested in getting my productivity up. I am interested in educating, motivating and inspiring my patients.
In the age of disease management medicine, the time allowed to spend with a patient has shrunk down to where you have 7.6 minutes with them.
It will get worse. I truly anticipate the concept of 2 minute doctors. You will get truncated down to a check list or data collecting questionnaire. Basically hood winked into doing all the detective work and checking boxes on a sheet of paper and then you get a computer algorithm diagnosis. The doctor is only there to confirm you did the right box checking.
Just like fast food joints….they want the time you talk into that box to the time you get your sack of food to be 2 minutes. And this is not the choice of the doctor. They are not the evil villains here. They are simply a byproduct of a forced environment. They are hookers working for the pimp.
As a primary care provider, it is my job to make sure that patients don’t get sick. That they have everything they need to maintain health.
But for the typical primary care doc over their head in the current system, they are trapped in this revolving door.
People come in and you try to fix just this one thing. They keep coming back for the same thing over and over. Never getting to the bottom of what is causing all these problems they are having. This may seem like they are coming in with an acute thing because they pop in and out.
But the fact is, its chronic. Its the same thing coming back over and over. There are a few reasons for this cycle.
1. They only got that 7.6 minutes to spend on the patient. How the hell can anyone solve problems that fast? I guess this is the Jeopardy game show.
2. The solution that is given is virtually always the same. Its a little square white sheet of paper you take to a drug store.
3. Patients don’t know there is a different way. A better way.
I have seen patients that are just so depressed and on meds. That they become suicidal. Just wanting to end it. Just so tired.
A great deal of what is known in conventional medicine is to put band aids on things or to suppress symptoms.
This is the problem with most of our suppressive treatments. They just keep the disease process going AND even strengthen it over time.
Reminds me of the school teacher who has a budget that does not allow them to teach what they know they need to. So they bring supplies from home or the store that they themselves pay for. Meanwhile, the board gets a fat salary and benefits. But don’t get me started on that.
Other doctors get mad and put pressure on the doctors who do not see enough patients because they spend more time with them. It is so much wiser to work at a deeper level. The apply the rule of rigor.
We all have experienced this in our lives. Where we realized if only we would have taken the time to do it right from the get go. Where physicians are right now, patients are in desperate need of truly better care.
The way the system is set up they can not be effective. They became doctors because they care about patients. Just like musicians and performers, they feel called to passion in life. Yet, after a few short years in our system they learn the dirty secret…and that is that most of them know that they cant truly help them. That’s right. I said it.
I said it because I have been told this countless dozens of times by other physicians. What they are doing is helping. But only helping delay disease. Not resolve or prevent it. I’ve talked to so many of my colleagues and they feel demoralized. They are not getting what they expected out of medicine.
Here is an experiment for you. Ask this question to any doctor you know. “Would you do this all over again, knowing what you know now?”
There has to be a different way of doing things. And there is! We have Good people, but a Bad system. And good is the enemy to great.
I ask people I come in contact with all the time as part of my own investigation, “How is your doctor?” They will generally say. “They’re ok” or “They’re a good doctor”. I’ll usually follow up with a ..hmmmm…..imagine if they were GREAT!?
The history of how the American health care system grew is not one of order. Its one of hap hazard chaos. Everyone is doing what makes sense to them individually. We pay hospitals to be full, so they try to keep them full. We pay doctors to see patients, so they see a lot of patients.
We create a public expectation that more is better, which isn’t actually true. So people seek more. Especially, if you control their minds but marketing that the health care is free and others are gonna pay for it. You see, everyone is doing their jobs. We just designed the jobs wrong
Physicians are well intentioned. Even when bad things happen. Its not because people have bad intentions. Its because our system is all fouled up. We spend a spectacular amount of money on health care. Just sheer numbers. 2.7 Trillion dollars per year.
Holy crap Batman! Almost 3 trillion A YEAR. If more care is better then WHY isn’t care better? Why aren’t chronic disease rates getting better?
The average per capita of health care in the developed world is about $3000. The USA its about $8000. That is one hell of a lot of money. Think about it. PER CAPITA. That means the total number of dollars spent divided by the number of people. Did YOU get $8000 in health care value last year?
Paying insurance is not getting health care. That’s paying a bill and hoping you don’t get sick.
Not actually paying because you got sick. Our health care system is not affordable anymore. Who pays for that? Where does that money come from? This is all coming out of our pockets. Its your money.
The really astonishing thing about us spending more is that we have WORSE outcomes.
Now, if you need a very advanced cardiac procedure, you are lucky to be in this country. Rescue care is second to none. So yea, acute care is really good here.
Where we screw the pooch is Chronic care. As an overall system, we’re not even close to being the best in the world. Just look at the results. Our lifespan is not even in the top 20. We are actually 50th. We have a disease care system and boy is it a profitable disease care system.
If this system was honest with itself, it does not want you to die, NOR does it want you to get well. It just wants you to keep coming back for the care of your chronic disease.
Most of this huge effort of the health care industry is devoted to intervention in established disease, the majority of which is lifestyle related and preventable.To talk about how we shift away from disease intervention toward disease prevention and health promotion.
That requires a massive rethinking of medicine and health care at all levels of society.
And to be blunt….its starts with YOU.
It has to do with expectation of patients, it has to do with training of physicians. It will require a huge effort. Today is that day you become a part of that shift and effort.
There is this innate healing capacity that we all have. When I sit with a person who is not well, its always at the back of my mind …the questions of
1. What is blocking healing, what do we have to remove?
2. What is missing, What do we need to add?
These perspectives are missing from medicine today. It is missing because of the training of our health care providers. Its because it does not fit its central dogma.
Today’s conventional medicine is only asking…what do we name this disease? And regardless of the name we are gonna blame it on that is just the way life goes. Then they ask, how are we gonna tame this named disease with a pill or scalpel.
What is wrong with medical education is that simply does not address whole subject areas that are absolutely essential to understanding human beings, health, illness and treatment. One that is overtly obvious is nutrition. Which is virtually omitted from all of medical training.
Then there is the irony of commercials that say “doctor recommended”. Or “ask your doctor”. Really??? If you want to know something about nutrition…good heavens…don’t as your doctor! Well, unless of course they are a Functional Medicine or Integrative Medicine doctor.
We need to expose physicians with a broader way of seeing patients. A deeper understanding of healing and a larger toolbox in which to choose therapies. But you know as well as I do, its not gonna happen if it does not monetize.
Many physicians come to my preceptor program over worked, overwhelmed, barried deep beneath insurance forms, 7 minute patient encounters, 30 patients a day.
There are trends in health care that make them uncomfortable. They state that they feel that there has got to be something different. Something better.
Lets face it, its indisputable that medical training today is focused on giving pharmaceuticals or expensive tests to treat the conditions AFTER they occur. They have no ideas on how to prevent things like heart attack, stroke, fatigue, insomnia or even allergies.
I have offered 100’s, a ray of hope on how things can be done differently and now I offer it to patients.
In western medicine all of our effort is based on dispelling evil.
If someone has an infection, we give them anti infective agents.
If someone has hypertension we give them anti hypertensives.
If someone states that are depressed we give them anti depressants.
We do nothing of supporting the good. The body can and wants to be healthy. Both of these approaches are necessary. But it would be great if we had better balance.
The kinds of interventions we have come to embrace in this country are inherently costly because they are dependent on expensive technology. This includes pharmaceutical drugs.
I think there are some very good drugs out there. I think drug treatment has its place. Id take a pharmaceutical drug myself if needed. But what id love to see implemented is to try to change the mindset that has completely taken hold on both sides. Both doctors and patients.
And that is ….That drugs are the only legitimate way to treat disease. I mean, where did that idea come from? Ever notice that ANYTHING that is not a drug or AMA standard is “pseudo science” or “snake oil”?
If you ever hear someone say terms like that you have to thank them for singling themselves out as the true fools that they are. Because correct minded people don’t speak like that. They respectfully disagree and issue sound rebuttal and debate.
It reminds of the that movie Hitch. Did you see that movie?
Where Alfred is with his high class girlfriend at this stuffy party and these guys come over and everything that is talked about …they put down. People and doctors who say crap like tin hat and quacks are really just like those goofballs in the movie. What an absolute crock of crap.
Anyway, here is why they have no place to be acting like that. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceuticals. That is almost as much of the rest of the world ….COMBINED. Is that not crazy??
In the 1950s, America was at about 10% of the rate we do now. Just look at what is on TV everyday. Like for heartburn, “why do we need to wait, when we can just take a pill right now”
Symbacort, cymbalta, Lipitor, plavix, Conerta, Abilify…Half of all adds are for drugs.
Do notice that all the people (who are actors btw), all the fancy marketing and mind programming to get you brain washed into what they are saying. They give you this sales pitch and ask you to ask yourself if you now, after watching their programming….think that this drug is….get this… “right for you” and then tell you to go ask your doctor for it.
Am I the only one who recognizes this? But no one really hears the statement they are required by law to say in the commercial. You know, the one that tells you all the other diseases that get caused while you take this for a disease.
Wanna know why they don’t mind saying all that confession?Because it will now just justify giving you a new drug for the disease this one causes.
Imagine if they used this approach with the other half of what make up all the commercials, Attorneys! Right?OH wait …they do do that.
We have all heard them,“Have you or a loved one been injured by the drug …such and such?”
If so call the law office of such and such and see if we can leverage you to get us paid. None of this happens in Canada, UK, France or Germany for examples.The only other country btw, is New Zealand. The only countries where you can advertise Rx drugs.
What does that do? It drives demand. Just like any other advertisement.
Cars, fast food, attorneys etc. Ads always end with the same phrase “Ask your doctor if (blank) is right for you”. And people do. And doctors wanting to please there patient will often Rx it.
We have a A NATIONAL DEPENDENCY on drugs. Over medicating is a huge problem. The military is no exception. The military can be seen as a microcosm to the problem that society is having today. Soldiers use of prescriptions has tripled in the past 5 years. Army says this is all linked to the rising number of soldier suicides. More soldiers are dyeing from non combat injuries than from combat during war.
There is contradiction bestowed on care givers.They are told they need to keep the patient pain free. And they are gonna do that. But they have to know those points in time where they have to say enough is enough.
The challenge is to find the right mix of treatments for our nations military. It doesn’t take a genius to know that the answer is not in a sac of pills.Yet, this is what it is today. When lost in the system people become invisible. I want to take them out of the darkest and make them invincible. From Invisible to Invincible.
In the 10 years of wars, the amount of suffering in the military is enormous. When you go to a war zone and get injured or see your buddy injured it is gonna tax anyone.
Currently, the approach to pain is to give medications. Here is the problem with treating pain….there is no thermometer to stick in and say..oh you have this much pain.
They have to treat them to what ever they state. And believe me, pain meds will always tell you they need more. This is what I call THE DARK MATTER OF MEDICINE.
Dark matter is a discovery by astronomers that there is a huge amount of the universe that we cant see. Its not visible, but we know its there. In some ways, I think of what is in health care is dark matter. Its unseen, but its there. Its very very powerful.
We tend to just see the light of our current system of health care, just the goodness of it, the potential for helping. We see all the time in the news what is the latest and greatest pill or surgery is. But the more you look the more you will find that there is all this stuff in medicine that we don’t think about that is actually harmful.
A team from Dartmouth mapped medicare payments….they found some very disconcerting differences from one part of the country to the other. For example, In 2007 a recipient in Miami tallied more than $15,000 in health car bills, where at the same time a recipient in Minneapolis only cost half that or $7,500.
It was not because procedures were more expensive in Miami, what the study showed was that patients in places like Miami were receiving more care. More tests, more drugs, more time in the hospital, more invasive operations. Even though the patients were not any sicker than there counterpart
But SO WHAT right? We want more specialists, we want more procedures, we want more tests..or at least we think we do. And that is the problem!
Because what we think is best for us often is not. If you are a parent you know that argument all too well. Why? Well remember back to the commercial thingy. We are TOLD we need those things.
What the Dartmouth researchers discovered was that the patients in the most costly regions where medicare spent more money on patients, those patients did not have better outcomes.
In fact, they were worse and more likely to die. If you look at health care in America, you are twice as likely to get your knee replaced than you are in other countries. You are 3 times more likely to have a heart cath or stint.
We have set up a system that often pushes physicians and hospitals to do more. Driven by perverse economic incentives. We are doing a ton of procedures to people that they do not need. To everything to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
People are getting younger and younger who are having heart attacks and diseases that have long been considered aging like osteoporosis.
I have had these Heart Disease patients go to doctors because they thought…ill get this fixed, it will get better and things wont be bad any more. But they get on the roller coaster of cath, stint, catch, stint. Until their doc says. There is nothing else I can do for you.
Contrary to popular belief, getting a stint in your coronary, it will relieve your chest pain but it will not help you live longer., and it will not protect you from having a heart attack. It ONLY reduces symptoms. Did you know that?
And the problem with some of those procedures is that they will lead to bad outcomes. So people start doing research into where do they go for the best care for their disease. Now keep in mind the vast majority are for a “chronic” disease. NOT an “acute” disease.
So they go to WebMD, Mayo, or Cleveland clinic. All places that have great branding and marketing budgets. Name recognition. Not because they are resolving chronic disease. But because the have big advertising budgets.
When you reward physicians for doing procedures instead of talking to patients, that is what they are going to do. Procedures. And they are going to convince YOU that is what is needs to be done. And the vast majority of you out there, just fall in line like sheeple.
Ask yourself…or a family member for that matter…“How much personal research did they seek outside on their own before ok’ing to a surgery or before they took that drug?” Have you ever read the insert or monograph of the drugs you take? Or did you just trust your doctor?
The vast majority of doctors in this country are payed by a fee for procedure system.
Now catch what I just said…I used the term “fee for procedure” not “fee for service”. Although that is what is used. But in reality there is no service being done. Only procedures.
Cardiologist gets paid for cracking your chest open, radiologist gets paid for zapping you in some big tunnel machine, gastro gets paid for blowing up your bowel and shoving a camera up in there.
If a doctor spends 15 minutes with you they get paid $15 bucks. If they spend 15 minutes with you and then put in a stint, they get paid $1500.To spend 45 minutes with a patient to makes sure they are doing their exercises and eating correctly, and trying to figure out the real problem, they get paid $35. It is a completely irrational system.
So this type of system, rewards them for doing more. It does not reward them for doing better or keeping you healthy.
Institute of Medicine 2011 “30% of healthcare spending (roughly $750 billion annually) is wasted and does not improve health.
Although we have made progress technologically, we know how to do things for disease that we didn’t know before we have not really experienced the systemic improvement that we want.
We pay for fragments of care. A doctors visit, a hospital stay, a lab test and ambulance trip. Because we pay for pieces we get pieces. So people who really need a coordinated system… they don’t get that.
Medicine is very silo’d now. Medicine is very specialized.This is a really big problem when you go to the hospital. Because there are so many people who lay their hands on you and if they are not really talking to each other.
You don’t get the best diagnosis, you get repeated tests, you can get things happing to you that puts you in harms way. Because no one is really keeping track of you as a person.
A recent study found that 187,000 people die each year from harmful care in a hospital. Based on these numbers, it puts it at the 3rd leading cause of death in the US.
#1 Heart Disease
#3 Medical Error/Hospital Acquired Infection
#5 Chronic lower Respiratory Disease
The AMERICAN WAY
Emergency rooms are filled with chronic condition patients that either go untreated or are treated but by the mill I spoke of earlier. The natural end point is going to be in the ER
You See… there is “Access”. Plenty of it. And everybody and I mean everybody has access to health care. But don’t confuse access with pay for it or convenience
It would be so wonderful if these chronic conditions could be treated by primary care. There is a saying in medicine that 20% account for 80% of the cost and the majority of those costs are when they are repeatedly hospitalized.
Remember, hospitals get paid when their rooms are full. Doctors keep their hospital privileges based on a quota of admitting patients. Bet you didn’t know that! I mean why would you need “hospital privileges” if you aren’t using the hospital. Right?
One of the ways to think about saving money in health care is to focus our energies on those 20% and treat them in a more effective way. We are a culture of abundance.You get what you want when you want it. And right away. The only thing people fear is inconvenience.
That being applied to health care just does not work. Most diseases do not happen over night and it never sends you a notice in the mail.
The roots of disease are found in what you have access to and that you repeat every day. So I’m gonna say it. Its your fault. I know that stings ….but its true.
Hypocrites said let food be your medicine and your medicine your food. That is the best place to start. But most people are under the complete false impression that eating healthy is more expensive. This is categorically false. As a society we have to make it easier and more affordable to make the best lifestyle changes, sure.
HOWEVER, what we really need to do is stop lying to people.
Low fat, no yolks, ya gotta be a vegetarian,….you gotta eat like a cave man……give me a freaking break.
Wanna think about something interesting? I’ve noticed the rise of “convenience stores” and “drug stores”. What the hell is going on with CVS and Walgreens? Ever look inside those stores? The food? Why are these places on so many corners just like fast food joints?
People eat what is most available and what is cheap. Not what is good for them. McDs put salad on menu. Not that they are healthy because they are not. But if you notice the price??? $6 for a salad? The burger is .99. wtf? If you are on a fixed income…what are you gonna do?
Remember, when we talked about the commercials being half drugs? Well the other half are fast food! …or attorneys. Isn’t that profound?
Its scary how obesity is spreading in our country. It leads to all the top killers we mentioned earlier. That is a fact.
If trends continue through 2020, up to 5th of health care spending or 1 trillion annually, will be devoted to treating the consequences of obesity. Source: RAND
If you really want to understand how Americans are getting more and more over weight, its because we have not re-thought things that were put in place a long time ago when no one really thought about what the unintended consequences would be.
Dept of Agriculture subsidizes all the wrong foods. They subsidize corn, wheat, sugar.
We don’t subsidize any vegetables at all. Or fruit for that matter. Or nuts and seeds.
If we want to point a finger lets do it at a guy named Earl “Rusty” Butz. He was with the agriculture administration under Nixon. He was the guy who thought we should subsidize commodities. Because it would allow us to sell these things on international markets.
We have made a hell of a lot of money going it too! The problem is the international world does not eat like Americans and that plan didn’t quite work out. So they decided to pawn this new money generating commodities on the American people.
But how are they gonna do that? Easy…Tell you to eat 8 to 12 servings of whole grains a day!
The other reason is because of the political lobbies. The moneys involved ends up being funneled toward congress and congress does not want to fix it.
AN ENTRENCHED SYSTEM
The American health care system is generating rivers of money and its going only in to a handful of pockets. The pockets of medical devices, the drug companies, the insurance companies, and the owners of those pockets don’t want any changes.
People go in and out of health care plans. They may only be a member of a plan for a year or so.
This means the insurance company has no incentive to make a lot of investment in them as relates to this plan. It just does not work our financially. The only way to make money is to charge more of the policies. Insurance companies can regulate their rates as much as they want to.
Average US Salary vs. Health Insurance Premiums (1999-2009)
Salaries up 38% and premiums up 131% Source: Institute of Medicine, 2011
Lets compare that to other prices as if they grew as quickly since 1945.
Eggs would be $55, Milk $48, Oranges dz $134
They have forgotten that what they are doing is providing health insurance. Its all about the numbers. How many billions in profits. Do you know what insurance companies are? Most don’t. They are investment companies. They take your premiums and invest them in the market.
Our forefathers in medicine were all about patients. It was all about healing. But when medicine/disease became a big business, we lost our moral compass. I feel we have gotten into a great deal of trouble with that.
Remember that drug called “Avandia”? Well it was fast tracked by the FDA, it was massively marketed. And by 2006 this drug became the largest selling diabetes drug in the world.
4 billion a year drug. (Glaxo Smith Kline). Trial after trial showed more heart attacks in the Avandia groups. It was so consistent, you didn’t have to be a weather man to know which way the wind blows.
About a 30% increase in heart attack and the company did nothing, they didn’t tell drs, not the FDA, not patients.
The leading cause of death in diabetes is heart disease. 70% of all deaths. Having a drug that increases the risk by 30% is criminal. The company didn’t say a word to anyone. Finally a senate investigation lead to severe restriction on use from FDA.
They set aside 6 billion to settle law suits. So the equivalent of just one year of profit.
In 2012 GSK, agreed to plead guilty for failing to disclose safety data on Avandia as part of a $3 billion settlement. They rest of the years at 4 billion a year…well that was just gravy.
FDA states that almost 300,000 deaths were due to this drug. Bet you never heard those numbers before have you?
It is near impossible to get legislative action to improve the FDA and better regulate the pharmaceutical industry. There is this misnomer that people who run government are the elected officials, and this is not the case, the power lies with corporations and the lobbyists they buy. Source: Center for Responsive Politics
Federal healthcare lobbying (2009-2010)
American Hospital Assoc. $37.8 million
American health insurance plans $ 18.2 million
American medical association $43.3 million
Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturer of America $ $47.9 million
Total spending $1.1 billion
Do you think these companies would spend this money if they were not getting much more expecting returns?Its an expensive world we live in. In terms of getting your voice heard in DC.
But that is the whole function of what is called “advocacy”.What gives lobbyist the tremendous amount of power that they have is the money they have for campaign contributions.
We have been trying to reform health care for over a 100 years. This goes all the way back to Teddy Roosevelt. But these companies will do whatever it takes to make sure there are no new laws or regulations that will hinder their profits.
107th Congress S. 1052 called the Bipartisan Patient Protection Act or “Patient Bill of Rights” during Clinton admin. The lobbyist tried SO hard to fight that law. Because it expanded the patients ability to sue their insurance company or employer if they had been denied needed coverage.
So a front group called the “Health Benefits Coalition – for choice and quality” was formed. Now what’s in a name huh? These organizations carefully pick these names to really make people think these are grass roots and they are really nothing of the kind. Part of the plot is to ultimately get people to vote against their own self interest.
So in this case they sold the b.s. that if this act passes that insurance premiums will sky rocket because of frivolous lawsuits. People had no idea they were being made to believe this by the insurance industry.
There was bipartisan support. McCain and Kennedy were co-sponsors. But it was SO opposed by the powerful insurance industry.
Washington Post printed articles….“lobbyists spend millions to influence healthcare”
“as health reform efforts intensifies, hospitals seek to protect the bottom line”
Financial Times printed…. “health insurance lobby attacks reform”
These companies will do anything it takes to make sure any new law will not hinder their profits. No bill was ever passed. Until almost a decade later.
Now enter Obama Care.
The health reform act achieved the health care industries two main objectives.
1. The mandate that we all have to buy their coverage.
2. Make sure there was not a public option. (didn’t want new competitor)
They had to live with some of the new consumer protections in the bill. That makes it illegal to just deny someones a policy because of a pre-existing condition.
What the insurance industries objective is now is to weaken those consumer protections over time and try to influence how the law is being implemented.
Because so much money is involved, getting people to do what the right thing for the American people has become extremely difficult.
THROWING A DIFFERENT PITCH
People hit the pitch we throw. If we change the pitch they will hit that one too. Between the health care we have and the health care we could have is a gap…actually a huge chasm. That is how big the difference is between what we could be doing and we are doing.
We have to recognize as a country that we can sustain for the long run and would be far better than the one we have now. We just have to get together and work on it. I don’t really blame anyone. They are doing what they think makes sense. The secret is we have to change what makes sense.
If we think our civilian health care system is smoldering and burning out and is unsustainable because of the costs….just look at the military system. It has been fully engulfed for over a decade. A huge burning platform. The cost is going through the roof and the ability to help these service members and their families recover and repair is getting less and less.
15 years ago a consensus study was done at the national institutes of health. They asked do we have good evidence if Acupuncture was safe and effective for any condition. The answer was “absolutely”. Especially with post op injury and pain. 15 yrs later you cant walk into your average hospital and get acupuncture.
The problem is not that is does not work. It is that they have not figured out how to get it into the system so we can make it widely available to the population and make money on it.
More of the same!
Cardiologists go to medical school and learn to crack open chests and bypass arteries and then zip people up and tell them they are cured. These patients now go home and eat the same and exercise the same. Which is to say they don’t. They smoke, don’t manage stress and get this little white slips of paper that can be turned into a yellowish orange bottle at any corner drug store.
Guess what…those bypasses just clog up. So then they cut them open again and bypass their bypass. Greatest business model I’ve ever seen. There has to be a better way.
You see, medicine spends all this time mopping up the floor of the sink that is over flowing without thinking to turn off the faucet. Turning off the faucet is treating the underlying causes of disease.
These are causes that are virtually all preventable. This is our lifestyle. Our bodies have remarkable abilities to heal themselves. These chronic diseases can not only be cured but prevented entirely. And much more quickly that you realize.
Here is an example that will blow your mind…..
Even in science, we have all seen the proverbial “lab rats”. Or monkeys, or pigs whatever the case may be. Science and research puts them on diets that force them to get fat, induce diabetes or let them breath things that like cigarette smoke to give them lung cancer. Put them under emotional stress, not let them exercise. Now here is where it gets absolutely felonious. They reverse those things and the diseases go away. So why the hell are we treating people any different?
Now when you do things that are not being done its not going to be universally acceptable. I see huge amounts of resistance. Even Ad homenim attacks because Im not a conventionally trained MD.
Im called radical in my methods. Radical? Really……like having your chest buzz sawed open?
We have to empower people to change their lifestyle. Then comes the “who’s going to pay for it” trap. If we made it reimbursable then we will go with it I have been told.
Heart and blood vessel disease kill more than all other causes combined. Yet we treat it with stints, angioplasty, bypass surgery and what does the evidence show? Unless you are in the middle of a heart attack our system does nothing for you.
What we use shows that 95% of cases that they do not prolong your life, and they don’t even prevent heart attacks. But I have a model that works. By making changes in lifestyle and eating and resting and playing.
You want your reimbursement ? Here it is…A life that is longer and filled with deeper levels of quality. There ya go! One that so many of us say after a loved one dies…”I’d give anything just for one more day”. How about more than just one more day? How about years!?
I don’t want people to have to wait anymore for some scientific trial series to tell them they can prevent and resolve disease. Why the hell should we be waiting for these jackwagons who have been failing miserably for decades to figure it out? We already know. What they are doing is getting caught up on the fallacy of scientific method. Where they are trying to prove something that doesn’t need proving. We know it empirically already. What they should be doing is proving that what they do does not work. And there is a huge difference.
Prove to me that you love your spouse. Get my point?
Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn won a noble prize in medicine and she did a study that stress produces shorter Telemeres. Soon as your telemeres get shorter your life gets shorter. Telemeres are the ends of chromosomes. Chromosomes have all of our genetic material on them. She proved that when these tips of the genetic materials get worn down or frayed the genetic materials got messed up. That prevents tissues from renewing themselves in the body and disease take hold.
Remember back to biology. Most things go both ways. SO if bad things make your telemers shorter, maybe good things will make them grow longer. The science after this proved that lifestyle modifications did indeed do this.
Matter of fact…it turned on over 500 genes that prevent disease and turned off the genes that promote cancer of breast and prostate to name just a couple. Even pharmaceutical drugs have not been never shown to do that. No surprise right? The interventions needed to do this are at a fraction of the cost and the only side effects are good ones.
In 2008, primary care physicians earned about half as much as specialists. We don’t reward those on the front lines. WE got into this hole because we got lied to. YOU got lied to and YOU believed it.
I want to wake everyone up to the fact that the same people who made this mess, keep us in this mess. They are the ones telling people bull crap like eat egg whites and low fat and eat 10 servings of grain a day. These are lies.
HALF of Americans will be diabetic or pre-diabetic in the next 10 years. Why? Because they think the food guide pyramid is truth or its called my plate now. But funny is that most people don’t know they changed it and still think pyramid. That low salt, low fat, and drugs is how you be healthy.
LIES! And Damn lies!
We call it health care but its not…..its sick care. Disease care. We don’t need healthcare reform…we need sick care reform.We begin to pay on outcomes not volume. Imagine if that happened.
Dr.s have no skin in the game with you. They are getting paid regardless of how well you do. So here is how you exempt and OPT OUT of all that crappy system.
1. Recognize that you and only you are in control of your well being.Your choices are what impacts you. Its not that your genes or what runs in the family that sets your health’s destiny.
Science has overwhelming consensus that lifestyle is the largest determining factor for preventing disease in the first place.
2. Realize that you simple don’t have to just take the level of health care you are dished out. You can and should hold your care givers to the highest standards of quality.
You can question them, disagree with them and if you meet more resistance than you feel comfortable with, fire them and find one will give you the respect you deserve.
Remember….More care is not better care. Better care is care that produces great outcomes.
3. Take solid corrective actions in your life. This will come when you get educated on real health truths. Not by listening to all the noise and confusion from the info space.
Listen to real clinicians and learn to sort through the fads and recycled internet content. And no matter who you listen to, me included…..question and research.
Always be on a quest for what applies to you as a category of one.
When you get your control of your health and make it valuable to yourself again you will never let the disease care system apply to you.
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Remember, LETS LIVE LIFE IN BALANCE!