Monday, August 10, 2009

Debating prevention's place in healthcare bill

As Congress struggles to decide how America should take care of its sick, another controversy is simmering over whether the healthcare legislation should include billions of dollars aimed at keeping people well.

A draft Senate bill would provide up to $10 billion annually for a "prevention and public health investment fund" -- a portion of which could be used for infrastructure projects, such as bike paths and farmers markets meant to curb chronic and costly conditions like obesity. Debating prevention's place in healthcare bill
Some lawmakers deride such measures as wasteful.
By Kristina Sherry August 3, 2009 Los Angeles Times

I am amused by this debate. It is the Sickness industry versus the Wellness Industry. I am not even arguing that the government should step in and invest in wellness. What I am really amused at is the idea that healthcare should not include prevention.

In fact, many of us do not want to join the Sickness Industry. We are working on preventative programs without anyone's support other than our own. We believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

But the idea that 10 billion dollars is massive pork barrel spending when compared to the trillion dollars that go into health care is just ludicrous. The waste really occurs after illness has taken a hold.

I once had a client that I really liked. But I hated his attitude. Why do something now to combat his problems was his attitude. He would just go out and get "one of those by-pass things" when he need it. No thought of the cost nor what state his body would be put in ever crossed his mind.

I once worked in a sheltered workshop which proved to me that work is quite therapeutic. And the best part was that it was very cost effective. People became taxpayers rather than warehoused in state institutions. And the best part we were raising our own money by the products we manufactured. We were supported by industry. We did have some government money from people that they sent to be train by us. It simply worked.

So I think it time to move ahead without government support. The one really interesting thing about a new study that I shall talk about is that the money spent on complementary and alternative health rose to 34 billion. The most interesting part is that CAM out of pocket bypassed the out of pocket for conventional medical.

Deride prevention as being wasteful if you like Congressman but we know it works. And we know what is healthy.

Kevin Kunz

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