Health Care Conundrum: Solved | Senior Focus | Max Greenberg | Palo Alto Online |

Local Blogs

By Max Greenberg

Health Care Conundrum: Solved

Uploaded: Dec 4, 2013

In all the discussion about the new health care law, government websites that can't handle the rush of applicants, soaring costs, Obama this, Obama that, universal access etc. etc. etc., there seems to be one word missing: PREVENTION. Eliminating the need for so much care, medicine, technology, equipment, doctor's hours, claim forms etc. If we look at an industry with parallel concerns, the energy industry, we hear debate over oil, coal, gas, fracking, nuclear, foreign dependence, climate change, solar etc. etc. etc. The word you don't hear too much about anymore over there is: CONSERVATION. Once upon a time the buzz was to save energy, insulate leaky homes and businesses; cut down on the demand, and the need for the more harmful sources of energy will diminish. Plus, folks would save money on their bills. What could be better?

So it goes with health care. Prevent the need for health care services, drugs, doctor visits, surgeries, MRIs, dialysis, etc. etc. etc. you lower the need for a lot of the health care, and you lower the cost. People are scared that with Obamacare they will be denied access to all the incredible technology that could save or prolong their lives (many of them developed right here in the valley.) If nothing is done to change the demand for all of that, then no matter if it's Obamacare, single-payer, or the good 'ole insurance companies conducting business as usual, that rationing is sure to come, swearing on a stack of bibles it won't, notwithstanding.

There is a simple means by which we can achieve the goal of prevention (which not only means not having to go to the doctor as often, take as many drugs, use as much equipment, but also means a healthier, higher quality, longer and more prosperous daily existence.) Pay attention to food. Real food, not the fake stuff that masquerades as food.
Look at that sweet little something called Sugar. Comes in many forms, disguises, like high fructose corn syrup and cane sugar. Brown sugar (ooh, that sounds so organic and natural, must be better.) It's in nearly everything you can buy in the inner aisles of our supermarkets. It's also in many of the sauces and dishes that the best (and not so best)restaurants in town dish out. You can't get away from the stuff.And if you do, you're usually going for the artificial substitutes which have labels on them like "Known to cause cancer in lab animals." With 70% of the US population overweight or obese, our medical industry is forever perfecting and developing new "band-aids" to treat all the ailments that come as a direct result of the stuff we are stuffing down our throats. Artificial hips and knees? How many of them are necessitated due to obesity. Can we agree that those are preventable conditions? Look deeply into the food (or so-called food) we ate and maybe the solution to the health care crisis is right there in front of us.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that many of us already know exactly what is healthy to eat and what is not, but that there is truly something called food addiction and compulsive eating, that often feels out of our control to stop. I know many of you probably have some thoughts about that you would like to share. Folks who are big on will power, fire away?