“American health care is the most expensive in the world, with 17.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) spent on healthcare…According to a new report released by the Commonwealth Fund, the US ranks last or near-last in all aspects of health care, from access and equity to efficiency.”
The quotation above from this detailed article probably doesn’t surprise you – it certainly didn’t surprise me. But it alarms me and I am ashamed that this wonderful country we live in is last in something so basic. We score well on effective care but dismally on preventive care which I think is more important. And my opinion on this is because we focus on managing illness instead of preventing it and providing true wellness care.
The article talks about how Americans are spending a lot on “health” care but receiving little value compared to their investment. What upsets me most is that we rank last overall on measures of healthy lives, particularly as it relates to infant mortality and healthy life expectancy at age 60! Sixty!! I just turned 60 last month and I expect to live to at least 120 unless Jesus returns first – so I expect many, many more health years.
As I say so often – our health is our responsibility. We cannot rely on doctors, health care systems or our government. We must take our own health seriously, get help when and where we need it from people we trust and be willing to make changes in our lifestyle and habits. Unnecessary testing and greedy pharmaceutical companies are driving the cost of healthcare here to ridiculous levels. In fact the top two reasons are unnecessary services and inflated prices. An IV bag of sterile saltwater costs 44 cents to $1 per bag yet an investigation revealed many patients were charged anywhere from 100-1000 times more!
“Consider this: if the US health care system was a country, it would be the 6th largest economy on the entire planet! Much of this is due to waste. A review of US healthcare expenses by the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) revealed that 30 cents of every dollar spent on medical care is wasted, adding up to $750 billion annually.” (emphasis mine)
Here are my top 3 ways to improve your own health:
1. Replace empty calorie drinks with the right amount of clean pure water to stay hydrated. Your energy will skyrocket, you will think more clearly, you’ll lose weight and your digestion will work better!
2. Focus on the quality of your food more than calories and limit or begin eliminating gluten, packaged, processed foods, bad fats, conventionally grown produce and CAFO meat and dairy. You’ll not only enjoy greater health, you’ll also lose weight!
3. Include some form of activity throughout your day – don’t sit for long periods without getting up and moving even if it is just to stretch and also find a form of exercise you can begin including for at least 30 minutes three times a week.
How are you taking responsibility for your own good health?
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