I commend Ted Turner and CNN for stepping up for better health for people. CNN has recently broadcasted one of the most comprehensive and incisive documentary on health care as only a ballsy news station could. Ted turner jocularly boasted that he wants to own enough land in America so that everyone pays him toll, right now everyone should pay Ted for the roaring-lion style with which he has aggressively pursued reform in health care.
I have been squealing since my advent with prostate cancer about poison food and the devastating effects they have on a body that is flesh and blood. People have taken me to task about my views sometimes, but everyone should have watched ESCAPE FIRE: THE FIGHT TO RESCUE AMERICAN HEALTH CARE and begin to take control of their health.
You shouldn’t wait until you are hit in the backside like me before you start to row and blame the system, and everything but yourself. Today the charge is you have to do something about your deteriorating health or the trap set in you to spring at anytime with cancer, diabetes heart disease, you name it, can arrive suddenly from the blind side and you will not be off to the races. You probably would be next in line to fatten up the worst health statistics in the world.
Following that bombshell of a documentary was the follow up session to this program by Dr. Sanjay Gupta in a piece called RESCUING HEALTH CARE. They underscored the fact that primary health care doctors are underpaid and needed to be incentivized to participate in comprehensive health care. This, fundamentally seemed to be an effort to come out of the nose dive, as the preceding piece had emphasized the fact that this is a story of greed and a disease management system instead of a health care system.
Gupta went on to paint the situation black when he said the united health care system profited from peoples’ misery. Dr. Erin Martin a panelist on that discussion and also featured in the documentary issued the cold fact that we have the means to decrease diseases without fancy technology and expensive pharmaceutical medicines, something which she does on a regular basis. She also enunciated that foods (proper food) and nutrition, is always around and very effective to treat our ailments.
Dr. Jeffrey Cain, another panelist continued to skin this cat when he iterated that better primary care with nutrition can usually prevent and care for chronic diseases and that healthier people cost less. Who would have thought that healthier people makes a healthier society! Apparently most other societies from Canada to Japan and Europe have long since got this.
Profit And Health Care
It was noted in the parent piece that doctors who perform procedures as opposed to doctors who are concerned with health care, that their compensation is like night and day. Now doctors are humans too and likely have financial demands like any body else, and probably would have done better in their consideration of people, but the rottenness or misdirection of the system pushes them to go for the areas that pay (i.e. Procedures though unwanted) to the overall care of the individual.
One of this area is the implantation of stents in cardiac patients. “Salaried doctors will care more” observed Sanjay and Dr. Steven Nissen Chairman of Cardiology for Cleveland Clinic. It is very clear to see why this is so.
Dr. Steven Nissen went on to tighten up on this fact when he observed that misaligned incentive in America compared with Europe’s system, reimburse doctors for tests and procedures not for healthier individuals. Another important point he made was that risk factors should be controlled first, and doctors should be taught this more appropriate method of caring for people.
An example he used, is the situation where an individual turns up at the emergency and a CT Scan is immediately ordered for a cost of $1000.00 where in Europe a list of symptoms would be given to the patient to observe if these continue and if such appropriate actions would be taken form there.
This is the only country in the world where medicines are advertise and passed on as a magic bullet that can kill or soothe whatever your problem is. It is so incongruent then that we are 50th in the world in this category of life expectancy, and last in the richest countries.
The panelists in this session continue to observe that our behaviors increase the burden of diseases. Sprinkle that with the health care system, the socio economic situation, and you have a bigger burden of diseases. Jonathan Gruber, economist MIT, at this point was blowing the horn that money spent on prevention improves our health along with equalization of access to the system.
Understandably here, poor people will always have poor health. A sad situation that is, as dogs in the upper echelon of society understandably will have better health than poor people.
Sanjay Gupta as moderator of the program chimed in with his personal experience, who by the way is a salaried doctor, and in effect have a heart. He emphasized the following gruesome fact of some hospitalization costs:
1. one IV bag $280.00
2. one stapler $1200.00
3. one chest tube $1100.00
4. one suture $200.00
5. one biopsy needle $800.00
Needless to say he was bold over by the fact that these things cost so much.
These are some of the things a patient pays for upon hospitalization or more precisely what is charged to him/her along with countless others that need a decoder or a mystery solver to understand. The opaqueness of these bills should be compared to the black hole in our galaxy.
That is why people like Nancy Davenport-Ennis exist. This goodly lady is the founder and CEO of Patient Advocate Foundation who fights and negotiates for people with these exorbitant hospital bills. One of the advices she gave was to get a copy of the bill, IN ITS ENTIRETY and look for redundancies on it. Indeed redundancies, as you can be billed more than one for the same thing.
So until no resident will say I am sick (Isaiah 33:24) you like me, would probably want a longer and better quality of life expectancy like the Japanese who are number one in the world. That being the case we were advised to seriously think about what must be given up today to return to the quality of life we had before.
Gupta concluded this program by saying that the Japanese had a style of eating where they put away the food when 80% finished as it takes a while for the brain to catch up to the stomach, and to tell you that you are full. And, his final thought was that we should break a sweat daily.
No one says we will ever live forever in this system. Assuredly though, we can live a better quality of live with better health. Dr. Andrew Weil who appeared on the first symposium pointed out that how we eat now is not how our fore parents eat, and that the food we eat is the culprit to most diseases. He has long since been a proponent of alternative medicines.
So there you have it.
The big question is, are we going to take heed? I have survived prostate cancer and my story is here for you to read and be further warned. Please access it at this link PROSTATE CANCER AND ME…OR YOU, THE TWO STAGES (MAN TO MAN).
This CNN documentary, a story of greed, and a story of disease management instead of health care, deserves three cheers. They have put forth a great effort to expose and correct a system, by its own nature: infected.
Until then walk good and pack light.