Healthcare in the U.S. is Listing in the Breeze, and No One’s at the Helm

It’s time to take off the blinders. Just who is responsible for our current system of healthcare? Is it a system that benefits the majority or is it a system that creates pockets of power for a few to reap the benefits?

There is a battle between the insurance companies, workers compensation and the medical community. Each blames the other for excessive spending, inadequate patient care and lack of providing options to the consumer. In the middle of this debate we find the consumer, tossed around, kept waiting, constantly put on hold and not able to control their own healthcare.

The other side of the coin is what I call the “doctor squeeze.” Consumers blame their doctors for being unavailable, having no bedside manners, using too many prescription drugs and not attending to patient needs. Damages awarded in malpractice suits are epidemic, creating even more distance between doctor and patient.

Meanwhile, the federal government’s few efforts to address this national crisis have been scuttled by Washington politicking.

Congress just voted to repeal Obama’s Healthcare Package. But the senate will defeat it and we will be back to square one. So who is in control of Healthcare?

Newsweek reports that more than 64 million Americans are without any healthcare coverage. Many workers are staying in jobs that aren’t right for them solely due to having a healthcare packages.

Kristopher Keller, DC, wrote a review of our health care system titled “After Managed Care.” His message: The average American is finding it harder and harder to obtain affordable and effective healthcare. Health insurance premiums, he says, are predicted to rise faster than ever to compensate for millions of dollars in settlements that the insurance industry will have to pay.

Most insurance also does not even cover Preventive or Holistic Healthcare services – Why?

With America’s technological advances, Keller continues, and with the huge expenses of such things as magnetic resonance imaging, computerized tomography, open-heart surgery, brain scans, bone scans, gene therapy — Unfortunately, these costs are driving the average hospital out of business.

This Is Where The Whole Thing Begins To Unravel.

When compared with other technologically advanced countries, Americans are either in the middle or the bottom half of the pack. In terms of longevity, out of 23 developed nations, 16

have a longer average lifespan than America. Countries like Sweden, Australia, France and Iceland all have average life spans at least a year or two longer than the United States. Japanese citizens can expect to live four years longer than can the average American.

At the other end of the scale is infant mortality. In the United States, 7.9 children out of 1,000 will die before their first birthdays. In Canada the figure is 6.0, in Germany 5.9, and Belgium 3.0 per 1,000. Of 23 developed nations, only two have a higher infant mortality rate than the United States.

It would seem that patients and consumers are burdened with a very large, impersonal, inefficient and a costly system of healthcare that’s based on numbers and not quality care. Why?

So Back To Square One: Just Who is Responsible For Our Healthcare System?

It is important for us as consumers to take the helm of the healthcare ship. Shop around, ask questions, ask for options and more importantly, ask for preventive and holistic healthcare.

My father used to say the most important thing in your life is your health – without good health you have no quality of life.

So let’s talk about how we take back the control of our own healthcare!

Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD