From a 7-29-12 editorial in the Los Angeles Times, near the end of a piece about cancer, they mention the dreaded “rationing” word.
Access to healthcare already is being rationed to some extent by insurance companies, and not always in ways that make medical sense.
The editorial (See link below) provided an excellent review of what is wrong in the world of cancer treatment, but didn’t offer much of a recommended solution. While the medical system is ordering tests and conducting procedures at all-time record levels, the public remains skeptical when they hear the calling for less screenings and less treatment. The public worries about the “rationing” of health care services.
They should also be worried about “secondary cancers,” the ones that are caused by the treatment of primary cancers. The recent news about these cancers was not mentioned in the L.A. Times piece, but I have provided a link below for your convenience.
The public should be worried about learning how to avoid all “disease care” services. They should be demanding to learn exactly how to prevent cancers in the first place. Dr. T. Colin Campbell and scores of enlightened medical doctors now know that, by far, the leading cause of cancer is our toxic Western diet—yet we hear almost nothing about that from our medical system or from the media.
This fact was not mentioned in the L.A. Times piece, but they did a pretty good job of describing an unsustainable mess with regards to the conventional method of detecting and treating cancer in a high-tech world. Describing part of the dilemma:
The public, though, seems a little doubtful about pronouncements that Americans are over-tested and over-treated, and it’s easy to see why. Our very nature tells us that if there’s a bad thing in us like cancer, we want it out.
Also, insurance companies and the government have been warning that runaway increases in medical costs are unsustainable. This makes patients worry that important medical tests and treatments will be withheld for financial rather than health considerations.
What many people fail to realize is that some unnecessary tests and treatments are currently being ordered for a different financial reason: in order to earn doctors money. Many procedures are profit centers for medical providers; in other cases, they are ordered to shield practitioners against possible malpractice suits, rather than because they are medically necessary and appropriate.
As for controlling further increases in the cost of health care, the article once again focused on treatment rather than prevention. Sorry, fellas, that’s just never going to work. Eventually, we must address the causes of these chronic diseases—and we must do it with clarity, instead of the confusion that reigns supreme today. The L.A. Times piece, which ended thusly, failed to do that:
And yes, healthcare expenses must be curbed as well. Along with studies on what works best medically, there will have to be research-based determinations of which medical treatments offer too little benefit for the cost.
Restrictions on such treatments will be hard for people to accept, but access to healthcare already is being rationed to some extent by insurance companies, and not always in ways that make medical sense. It will be easier for the public to trust tradition-defying findings if there is no hidden agenda, and it is made clear which recommendations are based on cost-benefit analysis and which are based on research that is concerned only with what ails us and what’s medically good for us.
The Bottom Line. Our current cost of health care is $2.7 trillion and accounts for almost 1/5th of our gross domestic product (GDP). That’s up from 1/20th in 1960. If our entire “system” got real clear about EXACTLY what we must do to take charge of our health, I truly believe that we’d see that number begin to drop dramatically in less than five years.
Within fifteen years, I believe that we could cut our health care costs in half, and that those costs would be under one trillion dollars by 2032. A 70% reduction in twenty years. By comparison, since Nixon declared war on cancer 37 years ago, our cost of health care has tripled—and as you can see in the above graph, we’re spending about twice as much as the country that ranks second in health care spending.
- Source article. When less medical treatment is more – latimes.com.
- Earlier blog. So now they tell us…about “secondary cancers.”
- Earlier blog. The “war on cancer” turns 41; now a major industry…
- Earlier blog. Early Detection; then slash, burn and poison…
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation
Health/disease care is rationed by price, so some have better access to it than do others. Our “market” system of medicine has driven up costs faster than in any western “socialized” system, with a concominant decline in health. This should give us pause to question how beneficial our system is for the patients; it certainly is good for the providers.
The solution is in our hands. We can continue with our mostly animal protein diet with its high risk and dismal history of disease promotion, or we can adopt a plant protein diet with low risk and health improvement, the benefits of which are seen in other, mostly Asian, countries. I have chosen a plant based diet and wish I had done so thirty years sooner.
Incidentally, Richard Nixon may have declared war on cancer 37 years ago, but my parents raised funds for a “cure” for cancer when they lived south of London thirty years before that. Which should also give us pause to consider whether the “cure” is attainable, or merely illusiory; my parents concluded the latter. Cancer, heart disease, Alzheimers, etc. are apparently “good causes” to which I no longer donate. If someone comes along with a fund to promote change to a plant – based diet, I would give willingly, after the questions that is!
Hi Nigel, Thanks for your well-written comment. As for the “fund to promote change to plant-based,” I am happy to report that there is such a fund. It is the T. Colin Campbell Foundation—“Scientific integrity for optimal health.” We are a 501(c)(3) and donations are tax deductible. Our mission statement at http://www.tcolincampbell.org reads:
“Provide public education about the health benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet.”
As a recent graduate of Dr. Campbell’s Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate Course yourself, I know that you’re very familiar with the foundation and our mission. I just wanted to make sure that our readers were given this information. Your friend for almost forty years, Jim Hicks
PS: To donate, click here: http://www.tcolincampbell.org/courses-resources/donate/