We are presently facing a health care crisis that is getting more dire every day. Health care costs are increasing so rapidly that many companies who offered free health insurance to their employees are now passing a lot of the high cost on to their employees. Other employers are dropping their health care plans altogether because they have become too expensive. Millions do not have health insurance because they can’t afford the premiums.
There are many reasons that this situation is escalating out of control.
One reason is that the primary emphasis is on treatment of the symptoms of disease. There is too little emphasis on prevention of disease.
Most people don’t take care of themselves well enough, partially due to insufficient knowledge on how to prevent disease. Many people tend to eat too much and exercise too little. Many others have habits which impact their health, such as alcohol or tobacco.
We have an aging population. We live longer, but require more health care to accomplish that, partially due to insufficient attention to our health in earlier years.
Health care insurance encourages people to neglect their health because they think they can rely on a quick fix when they need it.
Medical choices are often made by others in the name of the patient, rather than the patient being involved in the financial and medical choices.
Many insured patients tend to overuse medical resources since those resources appear to be free or almost free, masked by the cost of the insurance.
What is the solution to this ever-expanding problem? How do we bring health care costs under control and make a better life for people?
There are many facets to the solution, but the most important part is disease prevention. Many of the nation’s biggest health problems can be prevented with proper knowledge and proper habits.
The emphasis for health care needs to be shifted from treating disease to prevention of disease. We need to stop disease before it manifests. This will not eliminate the need to cure disease, but it can diminish that need significantly. One very important by-product of this is a healthier population.
Now that we know the solution, how do we implement it?
It is implemented through proper health education. The knowledge of how to prevent disease has existed for thousands of years. The knowledge has been largely ignored, to our detriment. People got used to the idea of taking pills to treat the symptoms of disease rather than taking proper actions to prevent disease in the first place. This fostered bad habits and people increasingly lost the inner knowledge of what was good for their health and what was bad for their health. People began to crave junk food and a sedentary lifestyle – the opposite of what was good for their health.