Cutting health care costs by promoting self care

Emma JC

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I am lucky enough to live in Canada and so do not have the same concerns about health care costs that my southern neighbours do and am thrilled to say that I have not had to use the health care system here or incurred it any costs for a number of years. This said I am very wrapped up in watching the discussions taking place in the USA over health care and the angst it brings to families.

Just today there is an article about how Trump has backed away from his campaign promise of making drug companies reduce the costs of drugs and may even have given them a new advantage.

Reading the article made me curious about what percentage of medical costs in Canada go towards drugs ... and I found an article from December of 2016 that states approximately 16% of our health care spending goes to drugs. That only includes government funded health care which in most provinces covers seniors, and other publicly funded programs. Employers, unions and private individuals pick up the tab for the rest. In the USA the percentages that are paid by the government seems to be around 10% and overall spending appears to be approximately 12.3% of total health care expenditures. I won't go into the dollars as the numbers are too crazy.

canadian_drug_costs.jpg


I have wanted to write an open letter to President Trump encouraging him to lead the world by example and change his own diet which, rumour has, is horrendous. If he changed to a whole food plant-based lifestyle then there is a very good chance that many of his support base and those who would like to support their President would consider doing so also as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and he loves flattery so it could be a win win situation.

Eating a plant-based diet could help reduce the need for drugs, the need for surgeries, the amount of time spent in doctor's offices... the list is endless. Can you imagine, though, the pushback from the Beef, Chicken, Pig, Egg, Dairy industries? from big pharma? from all of the companies that currently profit from having so much of the population of our countries sick and or disabled?

Self Care is the concept of taking responsibility for our own health. It means many things to many people including limiting or excluding all animal products, buying fair trade sustainable products, buying local fruits and vegetables where possible, growing your own fruits and vegetables and herbs and getting some exercise, while avoiding alcohol and cigarettes. Not everyone can do everything and yet if everyone did at least a few things then health care costs could be reduced substantially and quality of life would improve immensely all over the world.

I would love to say to all the world leaders....what if there was a magic pill that if you took it for 30 days you would see immediate changes in your body and the issues that you may be suffering from? Would you take if for 30 days just to see? and if it worked for you would you not encourage all the people in your country to do so also? That magic pill is proper eating, plant-based whole foods. The challenge is to try it for even just a week, 30 days would be ideal. See if it makes a difference for you and your family. Do you think they would listen? is the health of 'the people' not the precursor to the health of the country? More dollars or euros or pesos would be available to spend on activities and books and films and music, the arts, culture, joyful things! We don't get healthier by having more drugs, more doctors, more clinics, more surgeries. We get healthier by preventing dis-ease in the first place by making sure the children are eating well and not drinking bovine excretions. I have been watching and reading all the political news about health care recently and not once have I heard any mention of prevention or healthy eating other than to get rid of Michelle Obama's healthy lunch program part of "Let's Move". Why is this? this is the 21st century and we all have access to more information that our ancestors even knew existed.

Forums like this, YouTuber's, bloggers, people who run websites and give speeches are all heroes in my eyes. So many people working so hard to help others 'get it'. I am so grateful to you all and hope that I can help even just a tiny bit.

Emma JC
 

timjn

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Education in healthy eating habits has to start early, not least to help counter advertising, cheap junk food around every corner and saturated fat / meat / dairy / calorie loaded family food traditions.

That's especially hard when US schools pimp children out to McHeartattack, and label a slice of pizza 'a vegetable'
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To be fair, I don't know if this is still true (was Mrs. Obama able to make a difference in the form of promoting effective legislation?), but the doco I watched about US school meals some time ago was depressing.
 

Forest Nymph

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Well yes of course. One of the things that got me interested in natural medicine was not having health insurance for years - although I am on Covered California now due to the politics of my state, I went at least a decade of my life with no health insurance.

Plant-based whole foods diet decrease health risks of various kinds, and that's a fact. Now that I am insured, I had a complete head to toe physical this year and am in perfect health. I did get two immunizations, because I never had the Measles/Rubella booster as a child and could be excluded from my university classes if there were a measles outbreak, and that's either state or local law here, so I decided to get it instead of risking failing my classes. I also got the diptheria/pertussus/tetanus because I like to hike, backpack, camp or simply walk barefoot outdoors, so it was in my best interest to do so. Diptheria and tetanus risk is increased in people who do outdoor recreation and who travel in wilderness areas or developing countries. Pertussus is also common in the temperate rain forest where I live now.

I believe the medical industry in the U.S. is too greedy. While emergency surgeries, immunizations or occasional antibiotics are fine, there are people who take antibiotics several times per year and are constantly going to some doctor or dentist appointment and taking tons of pills. I haven't had antibiotics in at least two years, maybe three.

Big pharma and Western medicine fear plant-based diets and herbal medicine because of financial loss. That's the truth. I'm not an extremist who hates all doctors, but I think the state of healthcare in the U.S. is a travesty.
 
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Forest Nymph

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Well yes of course. One of the things that got me interested in natural medicine was not having health insurance for years - although I am on Covered California now due to the politics of my state, I went at least a decade of my life with no health insurance.

Plant-based whole foods diet decrease health risks of various kinds, and that's a fact. Now that I am insured, I had a complete head to toe physical this year and am in perfect health. I did get two immunizations, because I never had the Measles/Rubella booster as a child and could be excluded from my university classes if there were a measles outbreak, and that's either state or local law here, so I decided to get it instead of risking failing my classes. I also got the diptheria/pertussus/tetanus because I like to hike, backpack, camp or simply walk barefoot outdoors, so it was in my best interest to do so. Both diptheria and tetanus risk increase in people who like outdoor recreation or wilderness travel, and pertussus is common in the temperate rain forest where I now live.

I believe the medical industry in the U.S. is too greedy. While emergency surgeries, immunizations or occasional antibiotics are fine, there are people who take antibiotics several times per year and are constantly going to some doctor or dentist appointment and taking tons of pills. I haven't had antibiotics in at least two years, maybe three.

Big pharma and Western medicine fear plant-based diets and herbal medicine because of financial loss. That's the truth. I'm not an extremist who hates all doctors, but I think the state of healthcare in the U.S. is a travesty.