Sunday Thoughts (fixing what's broken starts at home)

Did you know that this is an election year?

Just kidding. Of course you do.

Especially if you live in a "swing state" like me. It's all you're bound to see on TV until November.

I'm not going to get into all the issues here. There's plenty for everyone to argue about. But there is one thing I've been thinking about today, and I need to get it off my chest.

The state of America's healthcare system really riles me up.

And this has nothing to do with who pays the bills. Or whether your health plan is private or public.

But regardless of which side you're on, both sides are completely missing it when it comes to fixing a lot of what ails this country. Because the healthcare system here (as in much of the rest of the world) is completely "bass ackwards."

Annually, we Americans spend over $3.6 trillion on healthcare. That's $11,000+ per person.

It's almost $18 out of every $100 spent in the entire economy. In 1960, it was just $5. And the numbers are expected to continue to go up and up.

Why? Because we don't have a healthcare system at all.

We have a disease management system.

The entire racket is focused on plugging holes once our bodies have sprung leaks. And we're riddled with leaks:

  • Obesity: 40% of Americans (up from 15% as recently as 1990).
  • Diabetes: 39 million Americans have it, and at least 90% are Type 2.
  • Heart disease: The nation's leading killer.
  • Chronic pain: 2 out of every 10 adults is suffering.
  • Depression: The costs of this alone are $200 billion annually.

But you and I both know two things that can impact all of these conditions, and in some cases, dramatically.

Reversing them, reducing them, or better yet, preventing them in the first place.

A healthy diet and regular exercise.

Yet, most doctors only give lip service to these things. And most patients don't pay attention to them until they're facing a serious condition, a hefty bill, or both.

If exercise were a pill, it would be a trillion-dollar cash cow. And it would be prescribed to everyone.

People who meet the bare minimum recommended guidelines of 2.5 hours of walking per week have lower medical expenses of $2500 per year, on average.

If you had to grade our healthcare system when it comes to treating you after a car crash, it would get an "A." We're great at that.

But when it comes to avoiding the risk factors and preventing illness in the first place, a "D-" is being generous.

So enjoy the sideshow as both parties bicker about who should pay for what. But know that the expenses wouldn't be as high and the outcomes wouldn't be so dire, if we practiced what we know to be effective.

A healthy diet and regular exercise.

I don't have much hope that the "system" will change to fix this, regardless of who wins this election.

But readers like you, who take control of your own healthcare and focus on doing good by your bodies… that gives me hope.

Because fixing what's broken in this country starts at home, whether that's healthcare or anything else.

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Comments

Judy Miller - September 28, 2020

I am a 76 years old female! No prescription meds! Trying to reduce my cholesterol, but my new doctor will still work for me with it. I changed doctors because my old doctor wanted to put me on statins, which I refused and I needed to see my numbers again. Nothing else was wrong with me!

I exercise at least 4 or 5 days a week by walking 30 minutes a day, and use weights when I walk. Also do stretching exercises that I learned from a Yoga Class 16 years ago. Pulleys for my shoulders and legs.

But the most important thing is staying under our Lord God with my health and asking Him to give me wisdom. Jesus said by His Stripes we WERE healed. 1 Peter 2:24! The Power Greens, I love them, and know that I am getting what I need in vegetables, but I love fruit, so eat of lot of berries, apples, etc. in my oatmeal most every morning. Thank you for the Power Greens! Regards.

william - September 28, 2020

Jeff
Had to respond to this one know matter what side of the isle your on ,you hit the nail on the head on this
one.
Love this country but know always fond off how people of power run it.
Both sides of the isle

Betty - September 28, 2020

You’re absolutely right when you say that we are the ones that must take responsibility for our own health and that what we have now is just disease care. I don’t blame the doctors for this state of affairs. They are just doing what they were trained to do-see a patient, make a diagnosis, and then prescribe whatever drug they were taught to prescribe for that diagnosis. Early in the last century the pharmaceutical industry took over medical schools and training and have kept a stranglehold on it ever since.

Calvin W Ellison - September 28, 2020

I wasn’t going to stop and make a comment, but started thinking that maybe, some would like to hear what a war baby born after WW11 in 1946 experienced. I was born in a little hospital across the street from the autobody fender and paint shop father worked at. As a young boy growing up in Kansas, my parents as many back in those days had a family Doctor. I remember the Doctor coming to the house for fast checkups Like sore throat or ear infections. I started my first days at school and remember standing with hand over heart saying the pledge of to the flag every morning. One day I found myself in the back seat of dads car being held by mom after the Doctor said get him to the hospital as fast as possible. I remember crying and did not want to be there. It was a Catholic Hospital with Sisters. I found later that I was infected by the Polio virus. I remember spending days with the Nuns raping my in hot towels. A Catholic Nun back then found that heat treatments helped stall and heal the virus. I remember other children in the room with me wearing braces on both feet. I was lucky and came out OK but did have to learn to walk again as I remember my mother in front of me saying come on you can do it. I later became a paratrooper in the 60’s because I showed no signs of the virus or any limp. I grew up strong and uninfected by the virus. My point of this story? We (My younger brothers and I) grew up getting shots in school for chicken pocks, and other types of virus and later the polio vaccine. No it cost families thousands a year, no home visits, wait in line or in the office for up to an hour and the worst attention unless your rich to het help or have insurance that the Obama plan has made law that has taken may poor hard working peoples Social Security they usually get back at the end of the year. The Nation with rich greedy politicians needs a Great National health care plan with open hospitals to help everyone. The Nations needs a law to keep heads of government from taking now Trillions from Social Security and replacing it with worthless IOU’s with no intention of paying it back. This Country should have the most lively, strong, caring, Health System in history. Look back at my words as a boy growing up and what I and all had back then. We all should make a difference and be wise when we vote to keep political greedy hands out of the peoples money and make sure they build a health system without greedy Doctors that like big homes and fancy cars instead of saving lives and keeping children happy and healthy. Thank You All and God Bless You All, Amen.

Brenda Warren - September 28, 2020

Jeff, I’m a senior of 71 years. I’ve been overweight most of my life but when I was 68 it was time to do something about it. I’m just 5 or so pounds from losing 100 pounds. I enjoy your little letters. It helps keep me motivated. You’re just stating facts and not trying to sell things. Keep up your good work. Thanks

Jorge Pages - September 28, 2020

Great article as always.
Thanks for all the good you guys do, Keep doing what you doing, great job, God Bless 🙏

Fred Wagner - September 28, 2020

Good Morning Jeff,
I couldn’t agree with you more on the state of healthcare in the US. Politicians all miss the point. Who pays for the problems after the fact is akin to wondering what to do once the horses all leave the barn when the door is left wide open. I’ve kept reasonable care of myself and haven’t had the flu since 1973 an only missed a day of work for feeling ill in the last 22 years and I attribute that to my parents insisting on growing our own veggies and eating pretty healthy. My parents called it fertilizer for my brother and me. I continued that all my life and am continuously amazed at how many people think a pharmacy is the answer to what ails them. Our health isn’t destroyed by the lack of some drug in our system, it’s the constant stress of poor choices at the table and in-between that cost us so heavily the farther down the road we travel with Father Time. Thank you for publishing your thoughts and providing additional tools for us to maintain our health and vitality.
God Bless,
Fred W

CC - September 28, 2020

Jeff,
THANK-YOU!!!!!
You are spot on!!!!!! Our health care system is about the almighty $$$$$$.
We need an incentive for folks who practice preventive maintenance!
I strive every day to better myself and I feel GREAT! It takes educating oneself on eating
healthy, exercise and supplements. I record everything I eat & exercise daily on a great web site
to keep track…. www.cronometer.com. It is free if you don’t upgrade and keeps me inline. :-)

David DeCourcey - September 28, 2020

Your message is spot on. There’s no money for pharma if we’re healthy. Except were it the case they’d try to patent good health so they could make their billions. At 67 both my wife and I average one cold per winter. Neither of us has taken a flu shot in years and we eat a basic and pretty normal diet. All things in moderation. Were we to live in a City I am certain we would be more into preventatives, but we don’t we live in the country on a small farm. Regular exercise here is sun up till after dark, no days off unless planed ahead for and then its to go fishing golfing or traveling. You want a healthy body, then it needs to be in motion more than not.

Kenneth Banks - September 28, 2020

Good day Sir…
I am 59 years old I have had Epilepsy since I was 12. I tried a lot of things God’s love works the best. Jesus is my life. All the items that I have got from Patriot Health Alliance works really well. Some I don’t need so I give them to friends that do need them. God is AWESOME!!! I know that my life will pick up again in God’s timing. The disease that my brain has had is leaving.
When a person gets beat up by their own body you get tired of it. So I do alot of praying. Godbless you and your family
Love Ken

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