What is going to happen to our current national health care? If democrats win, it will be slowly expanded to capture more and more of our citizens. If republicans win, it will be dramatically changed with the elimination of the Affordable Care Act. With either party, there will be changes; and with either party, changes always bring initial upheaval and access problems to the health care system.
So, what is my recommendation? First, don’t let the elections become too stressful, as that is not good for your health. Second, make certain you maintain (or develop) good eating habits so you can continue your current level of health. Our health care system is still problematic, so you do not want to depend on it; and you certainly do not want to depend on it over these next two crucial years.
There’s one good point for this election cycle. No politicians are claiming that we have a great health care system. A quick fact check would prove them wrong, so none of them are offering that opinion. Our health care system still ranks poorly on the international scale. Britain, France, Canada and the other developed countries show a lower cost of health services, a greater access to health services, and a subsequent higher level of health for their citizens.
Here are some statistics that will highlight your need to maintain your own health and not depend our our health care system. Three decades ago Americans lived as long as the British and the European citizens. Today the residents of those foreign countries live two years longer than the average American. Worse, Americans have a much higher prevalence of chronic debilitating illnesses. Americans die earlier, but we also suffer much more before we die.
Has the Affordable Care Act done anything? It has increased insurance coverage to around 20 million Americans, thereby giving those individuals a better chance to obtain health care services early, hopefully not too late. However, the health care costs from the Affordable Care Act are still rising. Why? Because the Affordable Care Act has preserved the complex, expensive, and largely unregulated component of the multiple insurance companies (and their high costs).
Let me give you one example. If you examine a list of our current cancer treatment drugs, their average cost is six times higher than in most foreign countries. If you compare hospital and surgical costs, America is about five times higher than most foreign countries. Let’s be honest. The other counties look at the United States and laugh at our ineffective and high cost health care system. People in this country actually retire to other countries for better health coverage.
Here is the bottom line. Americans die more frequently from those chronic illnesses, such as heart disease or stroke or diabetes or cancer or dementia, than citizens in other counties. In additions, Americans face more financial hardships from these illnesses. In America around 23% of our population claims financial stress from medical care. In a country like Germany that percentage drops to 2%. Only 2% of Germans have to experience high medical costs. Clearly, regardless of whether you are a democrat or a republican, we are doing something wrong.
So, what is my recommendation? It is the same as always. Take control of your eating style / daily diet. Take control of your exercise program, both aerobic and high intensity. Reduce your alcohol consumption. Lower your stress. Add more balance (time with your family, time with your friends, time with hobbies) to your life. Create the right environment for excellent health, physical and mental. It requires education and focus, but it can be accomplished without much cost in either time or money.
If you do not make the effort, you will pay two costs – physical illness and financial ruin. So start with your eating style. Limit your calories from sugars and saturated fats. Reduce your sodium intake. Focus on eating a variety of nutrient dense foods with increased vegetables and more fruits. Consume fat free or low fat milk, yogurt, cheese, or fortified soy. For proteins, consider more fish and less meat, especially red meat. Poultry would be a better choice. Eat more nuts and seeds. Together, these food choices give you the best chance for starting toward good health.
At the same time, if you are a parent or grandparent, get your children and grandchildren to make the appropriate changes to their diets. Remember that the umbilical cords of today’s babies are loaded with 100+ toxic chemicals. Remember that we are experiencing an explosion of autism, ADHD, and other developmental disorders in our children. Collectively, those disabilities are severely limited the potential of our youngest Americans. Don’t we all want their future to be better and brighter? It won’t happen without your leadership.
Take action for the best chance of surviving our current health care system …
And take action for the best chance for surviving any future health care changes from either party …
Someday, maybe our health care systems will be as good as the other developed countries like Europe …