The Costly American Healthcare System

The power of huge corporations and politics adds up to Americans paying the most in the world for healthcare, yet two years ago we were ranked dead last in the developed world for the fifth time, and last year the World Health Organization listed the U.S. as 37th in overall efficiency. A few of the 36 countries that rate higher than the U.S. are France, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Israel, Austria, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Columbia, Germany, the UK, Sweden, Canada, Chile… the list goes on and on and it’s a disgrace.

Furthermore, United States health statistics seem to be getting worse. Last year, America was the only developed country in the world that experienced a decrease in life expectancy.

American’s pay 2 to 4 times more for the same pharmaceutical drugs purchased by citizens of other major countries. Pharmaceutical companies donate hundreds of millions of dollars to politicians in order to influence the price our American healthcare system pays for their drugs. In fact, a study by Harvard researchers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that the nature of the American drug market as designed and regulated by our government is to blame. Other countries negotiate much harder to keep the drug prices down and are willing to say “No” to over-priced drugs.

As a percentage of our gross domestic product, the U.S. cost of healthcare was 50% higher than France and almost double that of the United Kingdom, yet we rank dead last. The profits of the huge healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are thriving but the American citizens are not.

Though dietary supplements were not shown by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) to have caused one death last year while prescriptions drugs were shown to have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, district attorneys of some states, in my opinion, to further their own political careers and aspirations, have attacked the supplement industry and conspicuously for the most part, have left “big pharma” alone. This is politics at its worst. These are attempts by politically motivated entities and individuals to divert our attention away from the very real and serious problems… by worrying about what… vitamins?

Obviously, this is all very upsetting and we as American citizens are getting the raw end of the deal. I don’t know how to curtail the power that the money of huge corporations can buy politically, but I do know what you can do to rely less on this broken American healthcare system.

You’ve heard this before, but you need to stay healthy:

  • Exercise, even if its just walking for 10-15 minutes a day 4-5 times a week.
  • Cut back on sugar… Read labels and try to consume less than 50 grams a day of sugar, and cutting back on soda and deserts is a good place to start.
  • Take a multi-vitamin every day from one of the well known dietary supplement companies.
  • Get at least 7 hours a day of sleep.
  • Try to eat fish like salmon at least once a week, don’t worry about mercury, the issue is way over-stated and not of concern.

To the Best of Health,
Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.