Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2009 Medical Costs

Health care costs will rise 4.5% this year, to $8,160 for every man, woman and child in America according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Crossing over the $,8000 line means that health-care costs are consuming a growing slice of our shrinking economic pie.

Estimes show that Medicare will become insolvent as early as 2016, years sooner than expected. In fact, taxpayers will be responsible for more than half of the nation's health care bill by 2016 due to the influx of Baby Boomers and expansion of Medicaid. Health care costs will rise to $13,100 by 2018.

Meanwhile the nunber of uninsured has grown to 48 million according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rife On Trial

Jim Folsom is going to prison. You've probably never heard his name or even the name of the device he sells, a Rife Machine or Rife Beam Ray Device, but anyone wanting better health without drugs has lost something today. Big Government (FDA) once again wants to take away a safe device that is being used in Europe today and has been used in this country since the early 1900's.

The technology is even being researched today by approved medical institutions because it does work. Now it's called laser technology using frequencies to explode viruses but decades ago it was simply called a "beam ray device" by Royal Rife. Interesting that this device predates the FDA by decades but they are obsessed with eliminating this threat to their friends in the drug industry.

Anyone who thinks they have freedom in America today isn't paying attention. Whenever there is money and power at stake, freedom is the first casualty.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Website Woes

You may have noticed that my website (www.unbreakyourhealth.com) has disappeared the last day or two. No, it's not a conspiracy by Big Pharma to silence my constant promotion of complementary and alternative medicine. It's just a glitch in the system that's shut it all down. I had hoped to get it back up within 24 hours but that obviously hasn't happened so I hope you'll be patient. The site should be back up shortly!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

AMA Joins Lawsuit Over Payments

The American Medical Association is joining several state associations in suing two of the largest health insurers over a database they say was rigged to underpay doctors on out-of-network claims for more than a decade. Aetna and Cigna were both basing their payments on the Ingenix database of normal costs. United Health Group already lost $350 million to settle a separate lawsuit involving the AMA and the Ingenix database.

Cigna said prices charged by doctors are part of the problem because doctors in the expensive New York City market charge on average $214 for a 15-minute, out-of-network office visit. Health insurance companies may reimburse as much as $160 based on the Ingenix database while Medicare pays doctors $77 for the same visit.

Looking at those figures is it any wonder the AMA is terrified of a national health plan? Is it any surprise why it's so difficult to find a doctor who will take Medicare today when they can earn so much more for the same amount of time?

Clearly the costs of health care today are at the breaking point snd something has to be done. Cooking the books in a database isn't the way to solve the problem.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stimulus Bill Opens Health War

The proposed stimulus bill includes $1.1 billion in funding that would research and compare medical treatments, a step some portray as the first step to government rationing of health care. The drug and medical industries are gearing up their powerful lobbying forces to fight this effort to make medical expenses accountable for patient outcomes.

A coalition called the Partnership to Improve Patient Care includes the lobbying arms of the drug, device and biotechnology industries as well as patient-advocacy groups and medical-professional societies. Coalition spokesman David Di Martino says the research envisioned in the House bill may be used "in an inappropriate manner that may limit treatment options for patients." In other words, their profits.

Anyone who's read Shannon Brownlee's award-winning book OVERTREATED: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker & Poorer knows that cost does not equate to outcome in medicine today. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about the economics of health care in America.

One interesting thought is that the medical world may be terrified of this type of research because it might show that the cost-benefit ratio of complementary and alternative medicine is superior to the drug-based medical system we have today. CAM treatments are usually much less expensive than standard medical care and it can produce positive results.

I'm living proof of it. What I spent on CAM treatments to restore my health was a fraction of what was spent on specialists in Dallas and a trip to the Mayo Clinic.

The fact is the stimulus bill is the opening round of a new battle to change health care in America and the status quo are going to fight it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

FDA Approves Genetically Altered Drug

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made history today when it approved the first drug made with materials from genetically engineered animals. This decision opens a new Pandora's box of treatments from the pharmaceutical industry.

The government approved the drug ATryn, which is manufactured using milk from goats that have been scientifically altered to produce extra antithrombin, a protein that acts as a natural blood thinner.

The biggest problem is that the FDA does not require any labeling to warn patients that this product comes from genetically engineered animals, once again protecting the profits of the drug companies.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cancer Treatment Changes Aren't Always Better

A Dutch study has shown the danger in new cancer treatments. Doctors tried combining Erbitux and Avastin, two new cancer-fighting drugs, because lab tests and an earlier small study had shown promising results.

"This will stand out as a warning," said Cornelis Punt, the study's leader. "You have to do the randomized studies to see what really happens." The study shows that instead of treating the cancer better, it actually made the cancer worse.

The new research was done at hospitals throughout the Netherlands involving 755 patients who had colon cancer that had spread. In the U.S. colorectal cancer was expected to kill almost 50,000 Americans last year but rates have been dropping due to better screening and treatments.