The media has done a really great job of demonizing pharma companies for the high price of prescription drugs, but that’s not the real driver of high health care costs. It is mostly our own fault.
First let me state some facts. Only ten cents of every healthcare dollar spent goes for prescription drugs. The rest is spent mostly in the care of chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. A lot of these conditions are largely preventable if we took the time to watch what we eat and do something as simple as bike to work or taking an evening walk.
Now add the coming costs of patients with Alzheimers and consolidation in the insurance industry and you have a perfect recipe for healthcare costs that are going to skyrocket.
Why don’t we take better care of ourselves?
- We don’t have the time-American’s are working more hours than any other industrialized country and we aren’t using all of our vacation time.
- We want instant results-Getting in shape and losing weight takes a steady approach over the long-haul. To many, instant gratification takes too long.
- Portion sizes in the US are huge.
- We are addicted to food that is bad for us and it takes too long to make healthy meals.
Can this be reversed? Yes! If we do to obesity what we did for smoking it can be tackled but it won’t be easy. We also should charge insured patients based on their overall health; if you’re overweight and out of shape you pay more each month.
Not all health conditions are preventable, but at some point in time the people who eat right and workout have the right to ask why their health costs are increasing at the expense of people who just don’t make an effort to maintain their health.