Reducing the Cost of Healthcare

$500 billion. 

According to Peter Lund M.D. that’s the estimate the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality gave for the cost of the 10 most expensive health conditions to treat in its most recent study. 

Topping the list were heart conditions at $76 billion. Cancer was on the list, too, at $70 billion as well as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at $54 billion, high blood pressure at $42 billion, and Type 2 diabetes at $34 billion. 

While some of those conditions could be based on heredity, my guess is that some of these costs are self-inflicted through unhealthy habits. And, it’s really unnecessary suffering in many ways — both to the individual and to our communities. 

A healthier nation certainly would be a happier nation. 
It’s easy to understand how an unhealthful habit could affect an individual. We’ve all seen pictures or heard stories about chain smokers suffering from cancer. But as far as the community goes, that might not be as easy to see. 

So, consider this. The rising use of health care is directly related to the rising cost of health insurance, which also has a connection to the high number of uninsured. It’s reasonable to say that if we decide to tackle our bad health habits, we all can play a role in lowering those costs and maybe even helping the uninsured. 

For example, it’s a known fact that smoking is a cause of cancer as well as other diseases and conditions. Not only does smoking harm the smoker, it also damages those around the smoker. 

Getting people to quit smoking is something that as a community we can do to fight cancer and other conditions. Minimally, we owe nonsmokers the right to breathe clean air so that they’re not exposed to harmful tobacco smoke. 

Weight management is another area. Eating right and exercising could play a role in addressing issues related to heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. 

Trauma disorders found itself ranked number 2 on the list at $72 billion. I bet there are some simple preventive measures that could be taken to lower these costs, such as driving safely and wearing proper protective gear for certain activities — riding a motorcycle or a skateboard, for example Addressing issues related to violence might also start to chip away at the $72 billion spent on trauma. 

Normal childbirth comes in at number 10 at $32 billion. Now, I’m not saying that a person shouldn’t have a child. But, I have to imagine that within the $32 billion spent are unwanted pregnancies that inexpensive birth control or abstinence could address. 

Depending upon what statistics you review, the number of uninsured in this country varies. While the exact number is fuzzy, one thing is for surea: One uninsured person is one too many. 

If our country ever wants to get serious about tackling the rising costs of health care and the large number of uninsured, we must address every aspect of the problem. 

And that must include our very own bad habits. 

Working on self-inflicted conditions as well as reversible conditions should be top priorities and is a way for everyone to play a role in solving our national health care crisis. 

If we decide not to change, then as a country we must accept the cost of health care and realize that in part it is a reflection of our lifestyle. 

If we want to stop the cost of rising taxes we need to start making in-roads towards becoming a happy nation with healthier habits. This is why I am so passionate about being a Life Coach certified in Subconscious Restructuring for changing behaviour!