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More Than US Health Insurance Reform is Obviously Needed

7 October 2009 1,503 views No Comment

As the health-care reform efforts gather steam, with even some Republicans, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger urging passage of the reform bill and saying that he supports President Obama in this regard, other reforms, besides the improvement of the health insurance system appear to be badly needed as well.

Even though the United States now spends $2.4 trillion a year on medical care – which is much more per capita than comparable countries – we rank near the bottom in rankings on premature deaths caused by illnesses such as diabetes, epilepsy, stroke, influenza, ulcers and pneumonia, according to research by Commonwealth Fund.

North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad has commented on these not really surprising findings, saying:

“All of these countries have much lower costs than we do, and they have higher quality outcomes than ours.”

These sad statistics are probably not due solely to the inadequacy of the U.S. health care industry, which has actually proven to be quite good, at least in certain, top facilities. This is not to say that it is good, or even adequate in most places, particularly in view of its exorbitant cost.

Other causes include of course our basic diet; all of those adulterated foods, which much too often are the only ones available to the average citizen. The food additives, the healthy, natural ingredients removed either in order to increase profit, ease of processing and transportation, or simply to cater to our now perverted tastes.

Considering the fact that the average container of so-called full-strength soft drink contains the equivalent of about 17 teaspoons of sugar – which isn’t even sugar, but the ever-present High Fructose Corn Syrup, should give all of us pause. And if it isn’t sugar, it is Aspertame, NutraSweet, or some other low-calorie sweetener, which could be even worse.

Just think how the epidemics of obesity, diabetes and other diseases would most likely fade, if we stopped stuffing ourselves with such totally unhealthy substances.

Meanwhile, it appears that we are at risk even from formerly healthy, natural foods as well. As it turns out, cultivation, processing, storage and transportation introduce all kinds of dangerous food-borne diseases. Most risky appear to be: leafy greens, eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts and berries. Apparently bacteria, from E.coli O157:H7 in spinach to scombrotoxin in tuna, are contaminating more and more of these essential foods. People who have eaten them suffered a range of illnesses, from mild stomach cramps all the way to death.

In addition, potatoes have emerged as threat to health, because many processors and restaurants have been putting them through the same machines, which were already contaminated by raw meat and poultry.

The FDA has been under fire for years for failing to adequately ensure food safety. A wave of recent food borne illnesses has placed increasing public pressure on Congress to do something about it.

As it stands, it appears that we should grow all of our own food, and avoid almost everything coming down the pike from the food producing and serving industry – and that of course includes those awful soft drinks – and providing that we do have health insurance, be very careful which medical establishments we actually trust our lives to.

We know that this is impractical for most people, but why should almost everyone be forced to play Russian roulette with their health in arguably the richest country in the world?

This brings up another issue. Much has been said about the dangers of smoking. The funny thing is that in most other developed countries, where smoking is more prevalent than in the U.S. people are generally healthier. Could it be the chemicals added by manufacturers to the cigarettes, rather than the tobacco itself?

source from:Politicus.US

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