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Position Paper on American Health Care


American Health
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There are fundamental problems with America's disease-care system (for it certainly is not a health care system). The quality of emergency care in this country is superb. But chronic disease care? Preventive medicine? Nutrition and wellness education? Delivery of these services is so pathetic that we are all too often better off without them. Here are some reasons: 


1. FINANCIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST 

  a. Doctors and hospitals and pharmacies make the big money only when you are sick. The end result is obvious. 

  b. There is virtually no funding from pharmaceutical companies to support vitamin research. Why? Because there is no money for them in a cheap, non-prescription cure that already exists and cannot be patented. 

 
2. GOVERNMENT OUT-OF-TOUCH WITH THE PEOPLE 

 Government may change the way it funds our failing "health" system, but the system itself continues on, fundamentally unchanged, with its drug-and-surgery orientation. Only voters can stop this. 

 
3. AVOIDANCE OF INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR HEALTH 

  a. The elderly are the main users of the disease-care system, and are by far the chief taxpayer-supported users. This age group is often strikingly resistant to diet and lifestyle change. What preventive health education the elderly are offered is as bland as a nursing home diet and just as useless. 

  b. The poor are treated for diseases but not educated for health. The poor all too willingly accept this, and stay dependent on dispensary-style medical "care."  

Don't tell me that it is different, because I've seen it. I've worked with street people and the homeless. Some so drunk that they couldn't stand straight, some children so hungry that they ate more food at one sitting than I ever saw go into any body of any size. Drugs, especially alcohol and cigarettes, eat into the wallets and purses of poverty so much more than those of the middle and upper classes. For 15 cents a day they each could have vitamin supplements, and I've seen first hand how much sickness that will end. I've also seen how difficult it is to motivate the recipient to want to use vitamins and good diet when they are handed pharmaceuticals instead. You see, we've taught people to hold out their hand, receive a prescription, and go away. 

  c. Real health demands real lifestyle change for almost all Americans. Young or old; rich, poor or middle class: all ages, classes and races have to move towards a low sugar, near-vegetarian, chemical additive-free diet. The middle class and the well-to-do frequently have the attitude that "If I don't want to live healthfully and eat right, you must still treat me, and some insurance company has to pay for the treatment, too." 

 
4. COMPLACENCY AND MISINFORMATION FROM HEALTH PROFESSIONALS 

 For decades, nutritionists and dietitians have preached that vitamin and mineral supplements are not needed if you just eat a balanced diet.  It is a nice story, but it is only a story. Daily supplements are the only way that Americans can possibly get 800 I.U. of vitamin E daily, the amount that prevents most cardiovascular disease, our #1 killer. Daily supplements are the only way that we can get between 500 and 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily, the amount that is protective against many forms of cancer. 

Magnesium, calcium and chromium deficiency are the rule, not the exception, in the U.S. It's simply not enough to keep cholesterol and saturated fat out of your diet. We have to put something good IN. 

It is time to wake up and smell the herbal tea. A house built on a crooked foundation will never have a straight roof. We're spending more than three TRILLION dollars each year on disease care. 

It's not working. A careful shopper would demand their money back. 

Nobody likes a naysayer or a prophet of doom, especially when the subject hits as close to home as this one. So here's the way out: 

 1. Health care for every person requires every person to take responsibility for their own health. This starts at the dinner table. 

Overweight and undernourished: that's us. 

 2. A country that manages to get Tax Form 1040s to everyone can get a good daily multiple vitamin to everyone. Cost? Fifteen cents a day per person times 330 million Americans (2019) equals 50 million dollars a day times 365 days for a total of approvimately 18 billion annually. That is not even one percent of what we spend on "health" each year in this country. 

 3. The US RDAs must be raised to be effective in actually preventing disease. Vitamin C should be increased by at least 20 times (from 60 milligrams to 1,200 mg daily, which is still less than half what any other animal our size obtains). The RDA for vitamin D should immediately be raised to 1,500 IU/day. Vitamin E should be increased by at least 40 times (from a ridiculous 10 to 15 International Units to 400 to 600 I.U.)  This means supplements, so let's take them. 

 4. If you want to improve our nation's health, greatly increase the tax on alcohol and cigarettes. As many as two thirds of all elderly hospital admissions are alcohol related. [1] Our number one single cause of preventable death, still, is cigarette smoking.  



[1.] "70% of elderly hospitalizations in 1991 were for alcohol related problems." (Newsletter of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, 1:1, Sept.- Oct. 1992)


Copyright C 2018, 2005 and previous years Andrew W. Saul.


Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )

 


Andrew W. Saul

 


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