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Want a real solution to skyrocketing healthcare costs? Forget about all the “cost-saving” schemes dreamed up by politicians, drug companies, and HMOs. All they do is create new levels of bureaucracy that don’t address the real problems of why healthcare costs are so high in the first place. In this article, we’ll look at how to fundamentally cut healthcare costs by 90 percent nationwide— while simultaneously enhancing the quality of life for all Americans—through a program of education and disease prevention that starts with changing the way doctors are educated.
I find it absolutely appalling, if not downright ridiculous, that people in our country who are responsible for health don’t understand the fundamentals of nutrition. I think that the fact that med schools don’t teach nutrition is one of the strongest statements yet about the sad state of conventional medicine. Our healthcare professionals need to be taught nutrition fundamentals.
Hippocrates himself said, “Let thy food be thy medicine.” The history of medicine is steeped in the use of plants for health and healing. The very word pharmaceutical means “medicine from plants.” However, conventional medicine today has not only ignored plants and nutrition, it has actively sought to discredit it. In my mind, this is one reason why physicians have little or no credibility when talking about health and disease prevention. They are, technically, ignorant. Dr. Andrew Weil, author of Spontaneous Healing and many other books on health and healing, even calls conventional doctors “nutritionally illiterate.”
Medical schools have no credibility either, because they are basically conduits for teaching the use of drugs, pharmaceuticals, chemotherapy, and surgical procedures to an army of doctors who are often little more than glorified drug dealers. If we are going to adopt nutritional strategies and actually prevent disease in the United States, we’re going to have to start teaching our doctors about foods. This crucial knowledge has been ignored, thanks to the dominance of this highly corrupt industry we now call “conventional medicine.”
The next step in slashing the skyrocketing costs of healthcare is to outlaw foods and food ingredients that promote disease. It makes no sense that food companies should be able to sell products that directly promote obesity and chronic disease. One of the first things we can do in this area is ban the advertising of such foods. There shouldn’t be soft drink ads on television or in magazines. It should be illegal. We should also ban vending machines, especially from public schools and workplaces, when those vending machines offer junk foods that contain ingredients known to promote disease.
We can also tax foods by levying a junk food tax. Although I’m not a big fan of increasing taxes or using taxes for social reform, it is true that taxing junk food would make them less affordable to most citizens and might cause some people to choose alternative sources of food, including healthy snack foods. In other words, if we made unhealthy snack foods the same price as healthy snack foods by taxing junk food, people would have a more balanced choice of what they want to eat.
Another proposal is to require warning labels on foods, similar to the warning labels posted on cigarette packaging. If you buy a pack of cigarettes in the United States, the label warns you that the product causes cancer and other chronic diseases. The same sort of warning labels should be required on foods, soft drinks, and other products that contain ingredients known to promote disease. This will make the average consumer aware of the correlation between these foods and their long-term health effects.
If someone picks up a six-pack of soft drinks, they should notice a warning label that says, “Warning: This product promotes obesity and diabetes.” That is the plain truth about soft drinks. No scientist or doctor in his right mind would argue against such a statement. Of course, the soft drink industry would, and so would practically everyone under its influence. This won’t be an easy task.