FLASH: A Clean Bill of Health is a Real Blessing
Healthcare is the big election issue, and politicians promise to give people universal and equal “healthcare,” or prevent pols it from taking it away.
And of course everyone wants to be healthy, and a $3-T industry wants to keep the money flowing.
A piece by a Medical Doctor I just read she wrote, “I do not think I have ever kept anybody healthy. If someone comes to me asking for “health maintenance,” I do not have a shot of “health” to give, or an RX for “health” to be filled at your neighborhood Walgreens, CVS, or Rite-Aid.
And as a patient, I cannot recall any ways in which doctors kept me healthy, although they did save my life by taking out my appendix, and they treated some illnesses and injuries. I am very grateful to them, and whatever I paid them seemed reasonable and well worth it.”
To my mind, a healthy person is 1 who does not have to see a healthcare provider regularly or take medicine every day, and who can go to work, take care of family, and generally lead an active life.
I hear people my age and younger complaint about how they spend too much money treating sickness instead of preventing it. If only we had the government take all the money, plus trillions more, and “invest” it in health, we would not have to spend so much, and everyone would be healthier, so they say.
This was the rationale for the National Health Service in Britain.
Once the NHS took care of the backlog of untreated illnesses, much of the need for it would melt away.
It did not happen.
Expenditures kept rising and were never enough. The backlogs and waiting lists grew. Ambulances circle emergency departments, and patients are crammed into hallways and storage rooms.
Suppose you go for your government-funded, “value-based” health maintenance visit. Details of your once-private life will be entered into a very expensive electronic health record.
The person will be checked for diabetes or pre-diabetes, hypertension or pre-hypertension, tobacco use, cholesterol, in many cases gun ownership, body mass index, and other government-mandated items.
They will get educated about the evils of tobacco, be lectured about obesity if the BMI is too high. And hang on likely get a Rx to lower blood pressure or the bad cholesterol, and may even get vaccinated for something.
The provider will likely get a bonus for checking all the right boxes and for “keeping you healthy,” and will get penalized if your “numbers” do not improve or you get sick.
Thus, making a case for creating health, there is a huge incentive to
manage the case mix to discourage unhealthy or non-compliant patients from joining the practice.
People on Rx drugs for blood pressure or cholesterol may feel worse rather than better, but are supposed to be less likely to have a heart attack or stroke decades later.
Studies with huge numbers of patients, who may be very different from you, have shown a decrease in such events with treatment. So far, a decrease in expenditures has not been shown, in view of the cost of all the drugs and side effects.
Your internist’s treats high blood pressure and diabetes, aka disease management.
The Big Q: Would better diet prevent these things?
The Big A: Yes, but what diet?
Medical doctors recommended low-fat diets for years, and now such government-approved advice is questionable.
So, how would government-funded primary care have prevented Heart failure, Heart attacks, Stroke, or Osteoarthritis?
Healing the sick is what conventional medicine is about not prevention. The politicians who promise to fix healthcare with socialized medicine can only destroy it, and our Republic.
So, eat Real food, do not drink alcohol, drink good water, exercise, breathe and be mindful, these simple steps help people be and stay well.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively