Who Else Knows the Big Secret As to Why Health Care Costs Are So Much Higher in The US Vs Canada?

Have you ever wondered why health care costs are so much higher in the US than in Canada? I was recently astounded upon finding out that a 60 day supply of a certain new anti-Parkinson’s drug being challenged by my insurer because it cost 800 US dollars, was being sold in Canada for a mere 128 dollars. Why would that be? In the interest of writing about it, I conducted some informal but solid research into the problem. Though many contributing factors can be named, like for instance, the fact that televised drug commercials directed at the public are discouraged by the Canadian government, I discovered another deeper and allegedly more malignant cause sitting at its roots.

The solution did not appear to me when I interviewed 2 pharmacists and a hospital administrator. Nor did I receive adequate answers when I queried several social news websites. Then I happened to meet for other reasons, an attorney friend who had served as a legislator. He boiled it down for me with one single word: “lobbyists.” Let me explain. Well-funded legislative third party negotiators aka. lobbyists, represent various collective self-interested groups of generally non-voter-represented competing interests, and with minimal central oversight.

Think of it this way. Let’s say you have a fixed number of healthcare dollars to spend on a cardiac coronary-artery bypass surgical procedure including professional fees, hospital stay, drugs and other charges. For example let’s imagine we’re in the US and Medicare will pay 30,000 dollars for total costs. That same 30,000 if used in Canada would be carefully distributed and negotiated principally by the central government within one organization, and then further aided by another oversight bureau in each province, keeping their eyes on the pie at all times, and perhaps even trying to get the total costs down to 20,000 dollars.

On the other hand, lobbying groups work the US system from the inside. For example, doctors represent one lobbying group. The hospitals represent another. Pharmaceuticals comprise a third big lobby (and we’ll throw in medical supplies and technical equipment there). Of course we cannot forget the lawyers’ lobby groups railing against any attempts at tort reform which might otherwise place limits on the malpractice liability system. And then there are the payer groups: private insurance and HMO’s.

Everyone is throwing money at legislators who deal on a very personal level with these lobbyists. Money gets dispensed through all kinds of “grey” channels. Then the lobbyists sit in the senate and house chambers keeping a close eye on how their purchased political interests vote on key issues. Meanwhile American adults, the average of whom cannot name the Vice President, eschew CSPAN for “JLo.” Instead of attending, observing or even following the House or Senate voting by their elected officials, millions express more concern over why star-candidate Pia Toscano was voted off of “American Idol.”

Nobody watches the legislative till in the US more than the lobbyists. The result? Using our cardiac surgery example, that original 30,000 US dollar allotment can quickly balloon to 40,000 as the well-heeled lobby-lubricated legislators aim to please all their special-interest lobbyists. For without those needed donations and other grayer perks, their slick TV campaign ads could barely compete with consumer-directed pharmaceutical ads and I daresay, American Idol itself.

Health Care – Do-It-Yourself is More Effective and Less Expensive

“You can’t handle the truth!” is a famous line from the movie An Officer and a Gentleman, but it also does a good job of expressing the mental status of much of the public when it comes to health care.

The public has been well-trained to believe that quality health care is possible only when provided by some outside group of experts using the latest technology.

Good health care is something we must pay — or someone must pay — for. And this mistaken belief is putting our health at great risk.

This notion is stopping millions of people from realizing the truth that each one of us is ultimately responsible for about 97% of our health outcomes. Not our genetics. Not tiny traces of rogue chemicals in our environment, though it is getting more polluted by the hour.

Ultimately, we are primarily responsible for the quality of our health and longevity.

Health is a do-it-yourself project. No one can do it for us.

Unfortunately, we are facing a massive propaganda campaign dedicated to making us believe that we are not capable of changing our health outcome. We are being enticed to feel entitled to eat all the delicious prepared foods made of substances that are detrimental to our health — to the point that most of us won’t even consider giving them up.

Big money is at stake here for the processed food industry. They are fighting very effectively, with the active connivance of our federal watchdog agencies, to keep us from seeing the danger our common prepared food choices present for us.

Let’s be clear on a few facts:

* Our health is largely determined by what we choose to eat and our levels of physical activity

* Our doctor is only slightly more educated about the principles of good diet than we are — and he or she cannot be with us 24/7/365 to counsel us about our health choices when temptation strikes

* For nearly every common disease there is a simple, more effective, far less expensive natural way to prevent or defeat it, if we will only implement it

* We have been lulled to sleep, most of us, and made impotent to resist our compulsion to eat the very foods that are making two-thirds of us overweight or obese

* The cost of health care expenses caused by the huge wave of new cases of diabetes will, by themselves, bankrupt our federal government (if wars and financial bailouts don’t do it first)

What’s the bottom line here?

Placing our faith in outside forces to be responsible for our health is insane. Just about everything commonly believed about our health is a commercial lie planted in the public consciousness by those who sell us our food, with the active complicity of the federal watchdog agencies who design their policies around the wishes of food industry lobbyists.

We are the ones who must make radical changes in our diet and lifestyle if we are to be healthy in our later years. To achieve this, we need access to the truth about how to be healthy.