Most of October, Americans have had their panties in a bunch because a website is crashing. Wow. Humans are so easily distracted; like kittens with a ball of yarn or puppies with a tennis ball. “Ooooh! Shiny!” Like we dropped acid and now stand in front of the biggest, blinking-est Christmas tree in town. Yes, healthcare.gov isn’t working as smoothly as Amazon.com. But that’s not the real problem. Hell, it’s a website for chrissakes! And before you say, “Yeah, it’s Obamacare that is the problem/solution,” forget that, too.
Besides, where did this “Obamacare” moniker come from? I’m no Obamapologist, far from it. For better or worse, I still think he gets a rotten deal having his name attached to a pet project for the rest of history. FDR’s legacy of 1930s socialist reform is called the New Deal, not FDRdeal. And the interstate highway system, a landmark of Eisenhower’s regime isn’t called the Ike’sWay System. The 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco isn’t called Kennedycrash. Even Watergate wasn’t called Nixongate. I can’t think of any other president in history who was saddled with such an eponymous edict as Obamacare.
All that aside, let’s escape fantasy land and respect the real goal of the Affordable Care Act: getting more Americans into the American medical system. With that perspective, the problem becomes clear. The ACA is meant to funnel more Americans into a system that is broken, inherently dangerous and in need of major overhaul. That makes what we’re doing a little like the government sending Americans on a free, expense-paid cruise on the Titanic or providing vouchers for citizens to buy 1977 Ford Pintos. Anybody want a ride on Apollo 13? Who wants to go?
There is much to praise about the amazing feats performed daily in emergency rooms and trauma centers across America. Acute care for crashing bodies is remarkable. But in nearly every other area of medicine, when measured against global standards, our system falls short of providing acceptable healthcare.
The real problem is that our system is not a healthcare system. It’s a sick care system. It’s a profit-based system of corporate-driven decisions made by wealthy CEOs and scalawags who are legally insulated from any modicum of liability. Vaccine makers are protected by Congress from lawsuits. Corporations are managed by executives far removed from any culpability for inadequate care.
Real problems. The primary failings of the system are the over-reliance on technology and drugs and the profit-motivated nature of the business. It’s a system we should be trying to keep people out of, not get them into.
Pharmaceutical drugs exact a yearly toll of 106,000 deaths from adverse drug reactions from legally prescribed and properly administered drugs. According to peer-reviewed research, the number of people having in-hospital, adverse drug reactions to prescribed medicine is 2.2 million. “The number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections was 20 million. The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million. The number of people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million. Summary of the research found the annual number of medicine-caused deaths is 783,936, making our medical system the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.”
Broken system breaks the bank. Pharmaceutical companies far outspend every other lobby in Washington, nearly a million a day. Overall, Big Pharma spends north of $30 billion yearly to get us hooked. And the Affordable Care Act wants more people to take advantage of that system? Forget that the current American medical model is a threat to health. The irony of the Affordable Care Act is that that we can’t afford it. Every other industrial nation outside the United States spends far less on healthcare with far better results. Studies show that advancing healthcare costs in the US are the very cause of our national debt crisis. And it only gets worse in the future. It doesn’t matter if private individuals, private insurance or government subsidies are paying the costs. It’s the out-of-line profit scale, the waste and ineptitude inherent in the system that will crash it. We need life support for our life support.
More insurance is not the answer Increased insurance coverage is not the answer. In fact, it’s the problem. No other industrialized nation has our kind of system and no other country has our kind of problem. People with insurance rush to the doctor or the emergency room for the slightest woe. Data shows that the insured are the reason emergency rooms are crowded, going for non-emergent situations that could be handled either at home or by a family doctor. You have to ask yourself, which do you want: Health or health insurance?
Studies show that most Americans turn to alternative therapies before turning to mainstream medicine. Will Obamacare pay for the kind of healthcare practitioners many people prefer? Will it cover vitamins, supplements, herbal tinctures, homeopathics, acupuncture, chiropractic, hypnotherapy, tai chi, massage, yoga? Those and many others are known effective healing modalities. We can’t afford the Affordable Healthcare Act. It’s a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.
Heartland Healing is a New Age polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit HeartlandHealing.com for more information.