Thursday, July 23, 2009

National Healthcare

Once again National Healthcare is in the forefront of topics on the news. I have not heard many good arguments from Republicans about why we should not have a national health system. They talk about preserving the right to choose your doctor. Today most health plans already have some control over who you can see from a PPO to the HMO's. They talk about quality care, well care is rationed right now. Go to any emergency room and tell them that you don't have insurance and see what kind of quality treatment that you will get. They talk about the government taking over healthcare and the doctors/hospitals will get cuts in reimbursment and taxes will go up. This is just what is happening with insurance companies right now they cut doctors reimbursments and raise premiums. They talk about the government prescribing treatments. Well that is occurring with private health insurance right now, in fact one of the worst examples is the Texas Workers Compensation System. The most recent rules were adopted by Republicans, and the system is the most bureaucratic, heavily paperworked system I have seen, all run through private insurance.

The only good argument against national healthcare is the cost. Americans have been unwilling to deal with the cost of healthcare for a long time. I believe that the reason is that the choices that we will have to make are very difficult. It will be easy to eliminate chiropractic coverage or dental or podiatric coverage but that is just playing around the edges of the cost. Chiropractic healthcare accounts for 0.5% of the total Medicare expenditures. The question becomes that if chiropractic care is eliminated where do patients go for back and neck pain? And is it more costly than chiropractic? But real cost drivers in the American Healthcare System are treatment of the very young (neonatal) and the treatment of the very old. We have yet to have the discussion on when is too much medical care for an individual. Until we have that discussion costs will continue to rise and healthcare spending will continue to sky rocket.

I pick on the Republicans on this issue, and I use to be one. I am an independent now because in my opinion the Republicans are too much in the pocket of insurance companies. And as you can probably tell I don't care very much for insurance companies and how they do business.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Preventative Health

I have been reading a lot about how we can improve our health with preventative measures. Eating right, exercising, and stopping smoking. I agree with all of this except the Government talked about this for Medicare patients. I believe, while it will help, it is too late to begin preventative medicine when you become 65 years old. I believe that it should start much earlier. I have found out that people in their 30-40 who need to make these changes, are not interested in making these changes. The older patients of mine have health issues where they are developing serious health problems, yet in many cases it is too late to make needed changes. Do you know that in the U.S. most people will exercise not to become healthier but to look better. Health is not a real priority.

So how do we become healthier people? There are three things everyone can do very easily to improve their health. I think the first thing we can do is turn off the TV or computer for awhile. These both have a way of “numbing “the mind. How many times have you been on a computer and never realized how much time you were there? I look at it as being brainless entertainment, we do not have to think or do anything while the TV or computer entertains us. We can also get off our butts and walk for about 20 minutes each evening after it cools off. Getting the heart pumping a little faster will give you more energy and help to burn more calories. After a month of walking I can guarantee that you will be feeling better. Make sure you have good supportive shoes. And last try drinking more water instead of cokes, tea, or coffee. You will actually fill up on water and there are zero calories.

Now these ideas are nothing new, they are not flashy, I could not do an infomercial on TV and expect to make lots of money on these recommendations. But these are good, easy, inexpensive recommendations that will help you become a healthy you. I challenge you to try it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I was asked to comment on what I thought about Nationalized Health Care in the United States. Well my thought is that it is coming whether we like it or not. When? I do not know but it is moving in that direction. I believe that once big business gets behind a Nationalized Healthcare system it will become a reality. Big business wants to know if they can save money by buying into some type of a government plan or their current health insurance plan. The insurance companies on the other hand are still making a good chunk of money in the health insurance arena and they will fight hard to keep those profits. I hate what we currently have it is so inefficient and cumbersome that I am amazed that it has not come crashing down upon us already. It is just a terrible system. You never hear of insurance companies going belly up because they are still making gobs of money. They raise premiums and lower doctors fees and make a killing. I think it is close to like being in the mafia. Medicare on the other hand is a pain to deal with but we know what we are dealing with so it is not as bad as private insurance. I cringe when I think of the government taking over healthcare but our options’ are very limited right now. Also you hear of very few senior citizens complaining that they have Medicare. Sometimes I think the insurance companies realize that we are going to be socialized medicine and they are trying to squeeze every penny out of the system that they can before the government takes over. The current system is a complete mess. Today my practice is mostly a cash practice since the major insurance company in the area has chosen not to cover cost effective chiropractic care (there is alot of politics involved in these decisions). They would rather pay $30,000 for a lower back disc surgery than inexpensive chiropractic care. Maybe that is why we are in the shape we are in right now?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Chiropractic Care for the Military

I had the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. in the early 1990's to see chiropractic begin its journey for inclusion in the military health care system. There is a history of chiropractors serving there country in non-official manners in the military as far back as WWII. During the first Gulf War I knew a Chiropractor who was a Major in the Air Force reserves. His military duties were as a trauma nurse and when soldiers found out that he was a Chiropractor in civilian life they swamped him for requests for chiropractic care. He was so busy he had to move out of his officers tent because treated patients there was interfering with the other officers sleep. He had a chiropractic table built and was set up in the Moral-Welfare tent. This doctor made the soldiers sign in name, rank, and serial number. He keep this list and he was seeing 20-40 people after duty hours. The military health care system could no longer ignore that Chiropractic was an important part of the system during war time. We currently have civilian Chiropractors stationed at military bases around the country and now chiropractic care is available to VA beneficiaries. Our last hurdle with the military health care system is to get chiropractic care available for the dependents and retires. This can be accomplished by having your local Congressperson co-sponsor H.R. 484 here is a link to email your member of Congress about this important issue.

I think it is time for our Government to do the right thing and help these families and retires out.