QUICK READ: According to the NY Times “the American health care industry is not good at promoting health, but it excels at taking money from all of us for its benefit. It is an engine of inequality”. Yes, our health care system has become a pile of money for a lot of players, but we can’t ignore the fact that Americans are the most obese population and that only 30% of us get the recommended levels of exercise.
One way or another, everyone pays for health care. It accounts for about 18 percent of G.D.P. — nearly $11,000 per person. Individuals directly pay about a quarter, the federal and state governments pay nearly half, and most of the rest is paid by employers.
In 2019, employer-based insurance plans cost an average of $21,000 for a family policy or $7,200 for a single person. This system requires companies to calculate whether a worker’s value to the company can cover both wages and benefits, a difficult test for less-skilled workers. Wages fall or employers shed or outsource these positions to companies with few benefits and fewer prospects for career advancement.
According to the CDC “the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity among U.S. Adults were 42.4% in 2017–2018. The prevalence was 40.0% among younger adults aged 20–39, 44.8% among middle-aged adults aged 40–59, and 42.8% among older adults aged 60 and over. There were no significant differences in prevalence by age group.
The financial cost of obesity is high as well. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical cost for people who have obesity was $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.”
In other words, we are our own worst enemy when it comes to health care costs. Yes hospital costs are too damn high and the price of some drugs is over the top, but as I have said many times “even if all prescription drugs were free our health care costs would still be climbing rapidly”.
In addition to all this a shocking percentage of Americans don’t exercise enough, CDC Says. … Only 22.9% of U.S. adults from 18 to 64 met 2008 guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening between 2010 and 2015, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.
Our health care system is a total mess. Electronic health records were supposed to lower costs dramatically, but they have failed to do that. Patients still have to ask their doctors to share patient records and there still isn’t a consumer friendly version as of yet.
While most HCP’s are promoting telehealth it’s still essential that HCP’s meet with most patients face to face. After this pandemic has subsided, there could be lingering issues such as depression, anxiety and other health problems that had been neglected.
This pandemic has shown that the health care system in the U.S. Is dysfunctional. We need to use this as an opportunity to make it