Health Insurance For All – Panacea or Peril?

There is a strong push for all Americans to gain access to health insurance. While this may sound logical and beneficial on the surface, we must dig deeper. The real issue is that we want all American children, pregnant women, young parents, the self-employed, the working poor, and the elderly to have access to quality healthcare. The problem is this is not what universal health coverage will provide. There are enormous problems inherent in the current system of healthcare coverage, and extending a flawed system to more people is shortsighted.

The current system reimburses services that are administered by conventional medicine while ignoring effective treatments with the potential to reverse or eliminate diseases. Ensuring adequate nutrients to assist the body to rid itself of illness is not covered, nor are detoxification strategies to safely eliminate the deadly toxins that accumulate in our bodies over our lifetimes. These two factors are the root cause of virtually all chronic illnesses that plague our people and threaten to bankrupt our healthcare system. Yet these services are neglected in the current payer system, which serves to benefit the expensive patented drugs and costly diagnostic procedures currently employed in medical care.

By extending healthcare coverage to all, we are extending the ability to afford more costly medications with dangerous side-effects while failing to provide effective prevention of disease through less costly measures such as providing all children with wholesome food that is not laced with pesticides, life-giving water that is not loaded with toxic chemicals, and access to medical providers who test for and treat nutrient deficiencies and toxic exposures before (and after) diseases have a chance to develop. (Many of these preventive and proven medical tests are not covered by the conventional system)

Extending the current medical model serves only to use our tax dollars to expand the market that pharmaceutical and medical diagnostic corporations exploit with their expensive products and services. Patients with existing coverage are forced to pay out of pocket for the services they really want and need when they become ill. These services are not part of the conventional medical system and are rarely covered.

While attending a pharmaceutically supported meeting earlier this week, an expensive new medication was being discussed. When the physician assistants in attendance inquired about the cost of the new medication, which was an outrageous 3 dollars per pill, the pharmaceutical agent simply stated not to worry about the price because it would be covered by insurance. I have heard this message repeatedly from drug reps, but it is not an adequate response. These pills may be covered by insurance, but we are indirectly paying the price through our astronomical health insurance premiums if we are fortunate enough to be covered. So by prescribing or taking costly medications, we are indirectly responsible for raising premiums and shutting more and more people out of the health care system.

It is time for a change. It is time we spent our hard-earned money on techniques to prevent illness rather than costly treatments that line corporate pockets. Each American citizen should be provided with a water purification system or have a public water supply that is not loaded with toxic chemicals. Toxic releases should be further reduced to insure that each American has clean air to breathe. Pesticide, irradiation, growth hormone, genetically modified, additive-free food should be offered at prices affordable to all Americans, not just the wealthy. Corporate polluters should be held accountable and swiftly made to clean up their messes (after all they are making a fortune at the expense of our air and water quality) so taxpayers aren’t left footing the bill while the corporate executives are slapped on the wrist and left with ample resources to move on to other polluting endeavors.

If these changes were made, we would see a dramatic reduction in the incidence of acute and chronic illness in adults as well as our precious children. There is a reason that the cancer rate has skyrocketed from 1 in 8000 in 1901 to nearly 1 in 2 today. Arguing over how to pay for coverage of expensive treatments is a mute point. Let’s prevent Americans from getting sick in the first place! This is not an unrealistic goal if we cease sponsoring pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies through third-party payers and crack down on corporate pollution.