You would think so, because they would have less claims to pay…but that’s not how the industry works…read on.
While reading an article written about a health insurance insider in the New York Times today, I was once again reminded of just how futile our collective industry-medicine-government efforts are in terms of solving our health care problem.
Everyone in the Western world knows that the ever rising, unsustainable cost of health care is arguably our single biggest problem. Yet, no one in power hardly ever mentions health promotion. As Dr. T. Colin Campbell states in the new movie Forks over Knives, “if everyone ate primarily whole plants, the cost of health care in the U.S. could be reduced by 70 to 80%.
So why don’t the insurance companies put more effort and money behind wellness, health promotion and disease prevention? Wouldn’t they save money on claims if people were healthier? The short answer is NO; the health insurance industry would be reduced by 80% to “accident only” insurance if everyone were vibrantly healthy. It’s all about risk; if there is no risk, there is no need to have insurance for it.
I am reminded here of an anecdote in one of Dr. John McDougall’s newsletters. After having success in reversing heart disease with his dietary intervention program (costing $5,000), he investigated the possibility of having his treatment program covered by the insurance companies. Rather than pay for a $50,000 procedure that was a temporary fix at best, why not spend 90% less and fix the problem for good? But the insurance companies turned him down. As explained by one agent, there are basically two reasons:
- Patient Involvement. “The patient has to modify behavior for the $5k treatment; but only has to lie down on the operating table for the $50k treatment.”
- The Health Care $$ Pie. “You don’t understand the business McDougall. We (the insurance companies) get a piece of the pie…and the bigger the pie, the more we get.”
We get a piece of the pie…and the bigger the pie, the more we get. That one statement explains just about everything you need to know about why our total “health care system” is in such a mess. It’s sobering to realize that with some 25 million people working in that system in the U.S., not a single one of those people has a financial incentive for patients to get healthy and avoid disease.
Think about that statement while reading about all the blah, blah, blah from the insider in the article below.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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