Preventative Care, Proper Weight Management and Healthy Living are Crucial to Stopping the Health Care Expenditure Crisis
The United States has the most expensive health care system in the world, with per capita health expenditures far above those of any other nation. For many years, U.S. health care expenditures have been growing above the overall rate of inflation in the economy. A few experts have argued that high and rising costs are not such a serious problem. Most observers disagree with this view, pointing to the negative impact of employee health care costs on employers, the government budgetary problems caused by rising health care expenditures, and an association between high health care costs and reduced access for individuals needing health services.
Several explanations have been offered for the mounting health care costs. These include the perspectives that increasing costs are created by forces external to the health system, by the weakness of a competitive free market within the health system, by the rapid diffusion of new technologies, by excessive costs of administering the health system, by the absence of strong cost-containment measures, and by undue market power of health care providers.
2004 Government figures show that health care spending reached 1.9 trillion dollars or about 16 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). In 2003 health care costs including hospitals, doctors, nursing homes, laboratories, pharmacies, and other parts of the health care system amounted to 15.3% of the GDP.
Smoking and obesity lead to numerous long term diseases, disability, and death.
These are completely preventable. As indicated above, the health care crisis in our nation is due to many complex factors. However, what is known is that the system as we know it will break. It will go bankrupt.
The annual costs alone from treating people who have diseases from smoking and obesity are in the tens of billions. This does not take into account the indirect costs such as absenteeism from work, depression, etc.
Cancer deaths are in the decline; however by the year 2020, overweight and obesity are predicted to include over 70% of our population.
Children are now at risk, more than ever, from being obese and suffering from long term disability and disease.
The power of the Internet with a social community, support of friends and family, sophisticated software measuring and meal planning applications, and behavioral modification assistance, can start to make a difference for those people who don’t want to become sick and be another statistic.
This is not pie in the sky dreaming. This is entirely within each and every individual’s capability. Indeed, some people need help in reaching their goals, learning about the proper techniques to eat right, in the correct amounts, and the right kinds of food.
The future of medical treatment to assist people efficiently, properly, and cost effectively is here.
In this day and age, there is no need to burden ourselves or our medical system with what we can control ourselves and our family.
Understanding and education are the first steps toward achieving a healthy lifestyle.