Ten years ago the United States health care system was declared broken, has yet to improve and it is progressively getting worse. Premiums are on the rise and nearly 45 million Americans are uninsured. (Orszag R. , Peter. (2010). In addition to this issue, Americans are getting sicker, not healthier and are still paying more and more each year. (Guiltinan, Jane (2013). If the United States focused more on preventive care and incorporated alternative medicine, the United States healthcare dollar would be spent more efficiently and in return reduce costs.
The United States does not spend its health care dollar efficiently. Approximately one-third of the 2006 health care expenses did not improve the health outcomes of Americans. (Health Care Statistics. (2013, May 24). In 2007, approximately 50 million Americans did not have health insurance. In addition, 25 million more were underinsured. In 2008, the average American family paid an estimated 12, 680 dollars for annual health insurance premiums. The US spends more money on health care than any other country in the world, yet falls in the middle range when looking at the health of the American people.
(Health Care Statistics. (2013, May 24). With an annual federal budget of 3 trillion dollars, the US spends 2 trillion of that in health care each year. Chronic diseases that need continuous treatment are one of the most costly aspects of the health care system and one of the nations’ biggest issues. If this issue is not addressed effectively, it will make unaffordable insurance costs, even less affordable in the years to come. An estimated fifty percent of chronic diseases are related to preventable issues, such as lack of exercise, smoking and obesity.
Dozens of studies have concluded that when patients suffering from chronic diseases start focusing on their health and becoming involved in their care, their health improves and their costs decrease. (Health Care Statistics. (2013, May 24). The practice of alternative medicine concentrates on the healing power of nature and the importance of minimizing the harmful side effects of the patient’s treatment. It teaches awareness on suppressing symptoms and how doing so may interfere with the discovery of the underlining cause of the disease.
An alternative medical practitioner educates patients on self-care, looks at all aspects of the patients overall health and treats the body as a whole, instead of putting the focus on the disease or condition at hand. (Hastings, C. A. , PH. D, Fadiman, J. , PH. D, Gordon, S. , M. D. (1991, April). Page 137). Utilizing the most natural, least invasive and nontoxic therapies, alternative medicine evaluates the health risk factors of each patient, their heredity background, and how their individual body reacts to disease.
In many cases, when treatment or cure for a disease is found, conventional medicine teaches to use that treatment on every patient fighting the disease. Often, the patient’s illness becomes more important than how the patient is being affected as a whole. The benefits of alternative medicine for primary care treatments is gained by all the best forms of medicine. Patients benefit the most when becoming involved in their health care, learning how to prevent disease and in return receive quality care.
(Hastings, C. , A. , PH. D, Fadiman, J. , PH. D, Gordon, S. , M. D. (1991, April). Page 153. ) The reasons why the US health care costs are so high are first because people are becoming less healthy; second, people are living longer. Both of these reasons require more health care and in return, more money. When there are more Americans who are healthy than those who sick it creates more money and in return puts the focus into saving lives, improves the quality of life and increases longevity.
At a time when health care costs for Americans are becoming nearly impossible to afford, incorporating lifestyle and diet changes have the potential to significantly reduce costs through disease prevention. Paul E. Lemanski, M. D. , states “Informed diet and lifestyle as a medical intervention may accomplish benefits at a lower risk of side effects and at a lower cost. ” The US health care system is ignoring the fact that its people are becoming less healthy. The focus needs to be on how to get Americans to live healthier lifestyles and decrease the number of the sick.
The US must educate the American people that prevention is the primary goal of health care, there are ways to avoid and decrease medications, and ways to avoid medical procedures. The American people must take responsibility for self-care and behavioral changes to gain optimal health and reduce costs. (Lemanski, Paul, E. (2013, May) Pgs. 26-27) The United States Health Care system must focus first on preventing disease and promoting responsibility for wellness, prevention and health promotion. Health is more than just the boundaries of an exam in a clinic, and is more than just the absence of disease.
The principles of alternative medicine can provide guidance in another way to think about, deliver, and finance the US healthcare system. If each person was provided with a basic set of services, received by a health care provider of their choice, this would incent self-care and encourage behaviors in which improve health and minimize the risks of disease. Rather than being rewarded for productivity and procedures, physicians would be applauded for achieving real improvements in their patients’ health by evidence based preventive screening. . (Guiltinan, Jane. (2013)).
In order to fix the United States healthcare system, the plan must invest in public health measures that are proven to reduce the costs in the healthcare system, such as: obesity, sedentary lifestyles and smoking. (Maciosek V. , M. , Coffield B. , A. , Flottemesch J. , T. , Edwards M. , N. , and Solberg, L. , I. (2010, September). Ch. 9 Pg. 9). The U. S. health care system must guarantee access to proven preventive disease treatments. Educating Americans on the benefits on preventive care and alternative medicine and how much they can improve the quality of life would be a great start to the United States Health care epidemic.
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htm ((2013, May 24. ) Health Care Statistics. A Collection of Problems With The US Health Care System. Source: Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Retrieved from, Http://www. healthcareproblems. org-health-care-statistics. htm (2013, May 24). Health Care Statistics. A Collection of Problems With The US Health Care System. Source: CDC. Retrieved from, http://www. healthcareproblems. org/health-care-statistics. htm Hastings, C. Arthur, PH. D, Fadiman, James, PH. D, Gordon, S. , M. D.
(1991, April) Health For The Whole Person. Page 137 Hastings, C. , Arthur, PH. D, Fadiman, James, PH. D, Gordon, S. , M. D. (1991, April). Health for the whole person. Page 153 Maciosek V. , Michael, Coffield B. , Ashley, Flottemesch J. , Thomas, Edwards M. , Nichol, and Solberg, Leif I. (2010, September). Greater Use Of Preventive Services In U. S. Health Care Could Save Lives At Little Or No Cost. Retrieved From, Health Affairs 29:9 Lemanski, Paul E. (2013, May). Adirondacks Sports Newspaper. Reducing Health Care Costs. Pages 26-27.