As the US Presidential elections approach, healthcare has taken center stage. While the Democrats debate variant forms of universal healthcare and conservatives tell us we can’t afford it, it seems that everyone is trying to answer the wrong question. The point we should be discussing is the nature of healthcare, itself.
Let’s face it: In all of this debate, the unquestioned assumption is that the medical model is healthcare. That, from the Democratic side, fuels the urgency of the call for universal coverage. But, is that assumption correct? Do we really have no choice but to continue to pump 20% of our total economy into this system? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding “NO!”
Let’s look at the facts:
1. The choice to continue with our present healthcare system is no choice at all. As it is, no matter who pays for it, it is unsustainable. It’s simply too expensive. Transferring that burden to the government would not solve this problem. This system simply must implode, at some point in the not-too-distant future, under its own weight.
2. Our present healthcare system is the leading cause of death in America. According to researchers, who have studied peer-reviewed medical journals, the system – not cancer, not heart disease – kills some 783,000 people every year. But, that number is estimated to be only 5-20% of the actual number. That’s like six jumbo jets falling out of the sky every day.
3. In addition to this horrific death toll, there are 1.78 to 2.2 million people each year who suffer permanent disability or discomfort from iatrogenic injury in the hospital. (No figures are available for those who suffer such injury outside the hospital.)
4. Although this system is unsurpassed in treating trauma and other acute, it is woefully ineffective for prevention or chronic conditions, which account for 80% of our healthcare spending.
The system is broken. Clearly, sanity itself must cry out, “There must be a better alternative!”
Thankfully, there is.
Complementary Medicine offers a powerful, safe, effective and cost-effective alternative to the allopathic/pharmaceutical model. Let’s look at a few examples.
1. Under our current healthcare system, billions of dollars are being spent every year for antidepressants. But, they are “effective” for only about 25-30% of those taking them (placebo is just as effective), and they don’t address the real issues of depression. Depression is not a disease; it’s a symptom of something else, and in many cases, it can be treated with Omega-3 oils or high sesquiterpene aromatics far more effectively – and cheaply – than with medications.
2. Under our current healthcare system, the incidence of diabetes is skyrocketing. The cost of diabetes drugs, for the year 2005, reached $9.88 billion. But, I know of cases where insulin-dependent diabetes was completely reversed by simply taking a relatively inexpensive dietary supplement. Essential oils are also very effective. Either of these cost a fraction of what pharmaceuticals do, and can manage the disorder, without side effects.
3. Heart disease presents an enormous drain on our economy. And, unfortunately, under our current healthcare system, treatments are governed by a lot of really bad science. But, there are a few simple dietary supplements and/or essential oils that, along with wise life-style choices, could all but eliminate it. Again, the cost would be a fraction of what we’re spending now, and we wouldn’t have to deal with the devastating side effects of the medications.
I did an aromatherapy demonstration once for a Fibromyalgia support group. The results we saw were truly amazing. One woman’s medications (including an IV-drip of morphine) cost about $12,000 per month, and she was still in terrible pain. With the application of two drops of essential oil, she had near total relief. A month’s supply of the oil would cost about $150.
I could go on and on. But, the point here is that there are options. There are far better, more effective and safer alternatives to our current healthcare system. Most of them are far cheaper, as well.
It’s good that we’re talking about healthcare during this election year; and the election this fall should offer us a clear choice as to who will pay for it. But, when we debate who should pay for healthcare, we’re missing the main point, unless we deal with the tyranny of our present healthcare system. There are choices. We should be looking into them.