Wealth and Hellness: Why is our system flawed?
by Dr. Harlan Sparer, Tempe Chiropractor
“A guy walks into a Doctor’s office”is the beginning of many jokes. It’s no joke when you walk into one now. Many Doctor’s offices, no matter what the specialty, are about money from the minute you enter until well after you leave.
Like any other business entity, the health care system is financially driven in its essence. The flaws in it revolve around deriving maximum profit from illness, not the mere earning of money for a legitimately delivered service of providing health advice and care. Many conspiracy theorists contend that it is a concerted plan to deprive people of their well-being. Those of us that understand market driven economics know better.
Profit and loss dictate decision making in any major health care entity. This happens simultaneously on all sides-the supplier, provider and consumer. These decisions revolve around modes of treatment, denial or supply of treatment, and selection of treatment. Insurance company bean counters and attorneys are currently the movers and shakers in our health care system as a result. This began in the 1980s with the onset of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Participating Provider Organizations (PPOs). As a result, health insurance morphed into a Insurance Company-driven, profit taking, decision making model.
Essentially, “modern” health care decision making is done by non- providers who are unfamiliar with the details of the patient’s problems. Decisions are made by lumping similar Diagnoses together and calculating treatment protocols based on averages. There are several faults with this Math based, Algorithm oriented decision making. Treatment can become robotic and sometimes not devoted to cause, treating the symptoms repeatedly as they re-manifest.
When a patient enters a Doctor’s office, a Diagnosis is quickly selected. The problem with this is that many people have a variation of a typical diagnosis. There are often several other factors that influence patient response including related diagnoses, psycho-spiritual state, and diet and nutrition. All are summarily ignored in “modern” calculations. The desire to reduce a health care issue to a cheap, frameable, lowest common denominator now often leads to disaster. Key components and causes of a problem (preventative “medicine”) are discarded in favor of symptomatic treatment.
This has led to the perpetration of Mediocrity in our Healthcare system. A Doctor who treats symptoms only with frequent visits is offered greater financial reward than one who gets to the root of the problem with our current situation. Unnecessary tests to prevent litigation or to provide legitimacy in a courtroom are also commonplace.
Doctors often treat health care issues with supplements or drugs rather than teaching about a healthy diet and how to prepare nutritious. The list of flaws is deep and long, but ultimately, the issue distills to this: Our Health Care system is ordered towards maximization of profit instead of maximization of well-being.
Health care is symptom driven. “He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.” Benjamin Franklin
What is Making Us Fat?
America is one of the world leaders in Obesity. By some estimates, 25% of our population has a problem. A simple look around at your peers can be enough to startle some people into making changes. The true cause is more fascinating.
The solution can be understood by the age old saying, “follow the money.” We know that economics rules our health care system. It also controls what we eat. The US government subsidizes agriculture and is in turn influenced drastically by it.
Historically, the 1950s began a period of intense influence that started in the 1800s. The Grange was a farmer’s union that wielded substantial influence in local and national elections in the 19th and early 20th Century. Farmers could make or break elections. Farming became less generalized and began to organize into Industry specific lobbying groups in the 1950s (such as the Dairy industry). An integral part of Elementary Education included detailed nutrition units with materials provided by Agribusiness organizations.
As a result, milk was something everyone drank on a daily basis. Our diet danced to the tune of burgeoning agribusiness lobbying groups whose sole interest was the almighty dollar. Our minds and palates were cultured and developed in school and in the Media for profit. Our comfort foods, while unhealthy, became locked in the limbic system (basic survival part of the brain). Eating unhealthy “junk food” became a way of life.
In the 1990s, this problem soared to epidemic proportions. Monsanto began the marketing of its pesticides and Genetic Modification. Pesticide production and consumption increased exponentially. The effects of Genetic Modification and pesticide consumption by both feed animals and humans began to affect us through hormonal and enzyme disruption, increasing obesity.
Another negative influence occurred when fuel prices began to soar in cost. This lead to cost cutting measures for processed foods, a staple in the American diet. These measures included decreases in processed food package sizes and more notably, changes in the ingredients to decrease production cost. Many Genetically Modified sweeteners and oils were added to processed foods, increasing human exposure to hormone and enzyme disruption.
There is an old vaudeville joke told by Henny Youngman. “A guy goes into a Doctor’s office and tells him, ‘It hurts when I do this.” The doctor says, ‘so, don’t do that.’” The simple solution for this problem is to consciously eat organic food in a healthy manner.
Wealth and Hellness Part 3
Somebody’s Hand Is In My Pocket And It Doesn’t Feel Good
It was 1973 and Richard Nixon, signed the HMO Act less than 5 months before he became the only US President to resign. He knew he was a lame duck and repaid his contributors well. This bill put a new “partner” between health care providers and patients, with a hand in everybody’s pockets at first. Now, this “partner” has managed through “Managed Care” to insert itself into decision-making of both Doctors and Patients.
People who have the financial wherewithal can purchase Insurance that isn’t subject to corporate management, or simply have it handed to them if they are in the upper halls of Government as employees or elected officials. Others utilize tax deductible health savings accounts to make their own choices based on wellness models. This leaves the majority of our population out in the cold with second rate health care at best.
The chart below demonstrates the decline of the US Health care system after HMOs began to influence health care while most other First World countries opted for National Health Care in one form or another, thus reducing infant mortality rate and increasing longevity.
There are many observed differences in the way health care is practiced in both Medical and Alternative Health Care with the influence of Attorneys, Accountants, and both Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Corporations on our system. Home offices and Home calls are rarely part of practice in the 21st Century. Health care is provided with one eye on the clock. This results in ill-conceived cookie cutter diagnoses instead of detailed analyses and individualized search for True Cause. Management in the form of many repeat visits and daily regimens of drugs or supplements earn the Provider and the Insurance Company increased profit at the cost of the health of the patient. Honest providers are penalized for non-participation in the system.
Preventative Health Care and Diet take a back seat in our system. Drugs with side effects effect quality of life as a matter of choice while our food supply continues to decline into a feast of toxic waste. Fast food and poisonous beverages are consumed in ever increasing amounts, contributing to chronic disease in increasing numbers of people locked into an addictive and unhealthy diet. Morbid obesity is rampant.
The primary instrument of death has become the fork and the pill, with a generous side of corporate greed. The last remaining Industry in the US is Chronic Illness and Death.
The solution is a return to simplicity. This means retaking control of what goes in our mouths and our minds. We need to be more wary about repeat visits to providers that are ineffective, no matter what their purported degree and expertise is. Eating simpler and living simpler means an increase in health, regardless of what is being sold on the News Feed.
Wealth and Hellness Part 4
Mercury: A Pervasive Killer
The first Chinese Emperor was administered a drink of Mercury and powdered jade by his Alchemists to give him eternal life. He died shortly after. We kill ourselves more slowly and elegantly these days, usually because somebody needs to make a buck on something.
Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature. It vicariously attaches itself to other substances. Notably, in our bodies, Selenium and Sulfur containing substances are altered permanently. This leads to irreversible inhibition of selenium-dependent enzymes inactivating nerve hormones. A person suffering from mercury poisoning may experience profuse sweating, tachycardia (persistently faster-than-normal heart beat), increased salivation, and hypertension (high blood pressure). Affected children may show red cheeks, nose and lips, loss of hair, teeth, and nails, transient rashes, muscle weakness, and increased sensitivity to light. Other symptoms may include kidney dysfunction or neuropsychiatric symptoms such as emotional lability, memory impairment, and / or insomnia.
Neurological function is deeply impaired by a teeny tiny bit of this stuff. According to the EPA, the maximum allowable level is 2 parts per billion in our drinking water. That is .002 mg per liter. A gram is 1/500 of a pound. A liter is approximately a quart. It is important to note that .5 ppb is enough to kill brain cells, which is ¼ of this amount.
Strangely, Mercury persists as a preservative and as a part of amalgam fillings in “Modern Dentistry.” It is also used in “Eco-Friendly” CFL (Compact Fluorescent) lightbulbs, thermometers, eye products, mascara, blood pressure and pressure devices, and as a topical antibiotic.
One of the most pervasive and dangerous uses is in vaccines. A vaccine bypasses the digestive system and supplies the contents directly into the bloodstream. The amount of Mercury present in vaccines administered in the US has been measured as high as 50,000 parts per billion in the influenza shot. According to the EPA, 200 parts per billion is considered hazardous waste. This hazardous waste is repeatedly injected into humans on a daily basis. Our elder population is regularly inoculated with this substance. The Mercury is in the form of Thimersol, a preservative.
Some people have begun requesting “Thimersol Free” vaccines. The Pharmaceutical Industry has feebly responded by “filtering out” the Thimersol. These vaccines now “only” contain 300 ppb, 150 times the “tolerable” dose. This tolerable dose bypasses the normal digestive apparatus and enters the body directly at 100% absorption.
Mercury vapor is present in ”Environmentally Friendly” CFL lightbulbs. 80% of inhaled Mercury Vapor is absorbed into the body via the lungs. Because it is colorless and odorless, it has been used historically for poisoning people intentionally. It is highly toxic and is released when a CFL lightbulb breaks.
There has been a substantial spike in the incidence of Brain disorders. Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease have been clearly linked to Mercury poisoning. Mercury has a penchant for disturbing Neurological function due to the inseparable attachments it makes to Nerve Hormones and enzymes. It should come as no surprise that our Elders have a spike in the incidence of brain dysfunction due to their radically high Mercury intake.
The typical cynical response by many is, “Everything can kill you, so why should I care.” As children, we are taught to look both ways before we cross the street. Allowing Mercury in your body or home in any form is equivalent to standing in the middle of busy Freeway traffic daring a car to run you over. It’s only a matter of time before this odorless, almost invisible poison affects you and those you love.