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 The Bill To Fix Health Care - Permanently
Rwhittle 43 posts, incept 2009-07-21
2017-04-01 10:31:51

I agree with the concerns about excessively high obstacles for becoming a qualified doctor, and about the impossibility in many situations of determining what is wrong with someone and predicting how much work will be required to fix the actual problems, not all of which can be known without a lot of further work and attempts at treatment.

I support Karl's approach to insisting on proper self care regarding eating fewer carbs for all those who face type 2 diabetes and similar problems.

Preventative health is vastly better and cheaper than trying to mend the damage caused by avoidable behavior. Preventative health in terms of education, food regulations and insistence on self-care as part of medical care should go much further:

Everyone in the West should reduce their sodium (salt) intake and increase their potassium intake, including by use of supplements such as water-solutions of the almost tasteless potassium gluconate. This is because the excessively high sodium to potassium ratio which pretty much everyone in the West consumes is proven to cause hypertension, heart disease and stroke:

Increasing potassium levels may also reduce anxiety and improve mental health. Refs at: .

Anyone who smokes (tobacco or cannabis) shouldn't, for numerous obvious physical and mental health reasons.

Alcohol is a carcinogenic depressant. Anyone who drinks it regularly is setting themselves up for long-term depression problems, as well as increased risk of breast, colon and other cancers. It is a major factor in road injuries and deaths.

Most people use alcohol, cannabis and tobacco to reduce anxiety. Surely there's enough things in modern life to make us anxious. While it is true that a certain level of anxiety is natural and desirable, there is a huge, systemic, unrecognised (and actively denied) problem in that most people use caffeine every day of their adult (and sometimes adolescent) lives. This is a sleep disruptor, drives tiredness (and so road accidents), drives restless legs syndrome (immediate reduction and longer term increase of symptoms), drives road rage, aggression, domestic violence and probably war-making decisions by politicians.

So anyone seeking therapy or drugs for anxiety problems, especially PTSD, OCD or anything resembling borderline personality disorder, should be required to reduce and eliminate their caffeine consumption (and go easy on the dark chocolate).

Almost everyone needs vitamin D supplements, since the only way to get enough is via regular UV-B exposure which also drives skin cancer. Vit D is vital for good mood, reducing cancer and numerous other aspects of health. It is an extremely inexpensive supplement (see 50,000IU capsules, one every two weeks or so). This is especially important for people with dark or black skin, and for pregnant women, since low vit D is arguably a significant cause of autism and perhaps schizophrenia:

Most people need more exercise and would benefit from ingesting more omega 3 essential fatty acids (fish and algal oils).

Most people get too little light (especially blue light) in the day, and too much (via computer/phone screens and artificial lighting) in the evening.

People with serious mental health problems and/or proclivity to violence need to be institutionalised before they harm and/or kill or maim themselves or someone else, not just after.

Here in Australia, the government prevents smoking in most public places and requires cigarette packets to have no trademarks and to be covered by dull colors, health warnings and gruesome images. The result is an impressive drop in smoking, including among young people, which translates in to a huge decrease in long-term ill-health and death.

In Victoria, the last commercial road traffic accident insurer withdrew some decades ago, leaving just the government insurer (insurance is part of vehicle registration). They soon figured it was cheaper and better to educate the public into reducing traffic accidents than to continue to pay out for medical care and lifelong support of the seriously injured. The result (despite increases in population and modern cars having poor visibility due to excessively thick A-pillars) is an extraordinary reduction in the road toll, from 1061 in the 1970s to 291. We have much better road signage and signals than those I have seen in the South of the USA, all due to government investment.

All this could be done in the USA. If it is not, then the epidemic of ill-health will continue, no matter how the economics of health care are improved.

This will require a reversal of the long tradition of the government not being involved in people's lives. The current pattern of ill-health and rapacious health-care has brought this extraordinary nation to its knees - and results directly from governments avoiding investing in preventative health care, while allowing the private sector to exploit the population due to insufficient regulation and government involvement. (There are problems with the nanny state too - that's another discussion.)
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