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What you can do now—to reform health care!

EIGHT RECOMMENDATIONS BASED ON THE ACCLAIMED BOOK, A RETURN TO HEALING

1. Start with yourself; healthy lifestyle comes first.
Lifestyle strategies such as diet, exercise, adequate sleep, stress reduction, weight control, avoidance of toxic exposures, and emotional and spiritual balance in life are always the first line of defense.

2. Insist on prevention—at all levels.
Ask your legislators to put into effect the set of preventive measures recommended in A Return to Healing. These will greatly reduce costs by making Americans much healthier through their lifetimes. (Note: such programs should accompany any effort for single-payer health insurance.) The list includes:

  1. Fund programs that make exercise universally available and attractive to Americans.
  2. Tax junk food; subsidize sustainable agriculture and healthy, organic foods.
  3. Require disclosure to patients of all treatments backed by evidence.
  4. Broadly support preventive screens.
  5. Ban direct-to-consumer ads for drugs; advertise healthy lifestyle.

3. Attend an integrative clinic your area.
Integrative and CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) centers are becoming more common nationwide. Seek one out and make sure the entire family uses the new medicine.

4. Support research into CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) solutions.
Now is the time to greatly accelerate federally funded research (including comparative effectiveness research) into CAM at the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, whose work is still an embarrassingly small portion of the NIH’s overall budget. Public funding is crucial, because the private sector will only fund research that lends itself to patents or to profits.

5. Demand that insurance policies cover complementary and alternative medicine.
Now is the time modernize insurance coverage so that it extends the integrative medicine revolution to everyone. Most non-invasive, natural, or CAM treatments are not covered. This drives up costs for everyone! Make sure our legislators understand that the new medicine saves lives and money.

6. Radically reform the FDA.
With the FDA’s credibility at its worst ever, there has never been a better time to enact legislation to reform it from the ground up. Support the American Association for Health Freedom, whose Reform the FDA Petition is available for signing at ReformFDA.org.

7. Support single-payer health insurance for all Americans (conditionally).
Government-sponsored single-payer insurance, or some equivalent—such as the so-called “public insurance option”—makes sense on its own terms, and we should all support it in principle. But even more advanced reform is needed: Our “disease-care” system is wasteful, counterproductive, inefficient, prone to corruption, and even lethal. Do we really want to pool the health care insurance premiums of the entire population so as to better finance this system while leaving its other assumptions unchallenged? No. Single-payer is necessary reform—but alone is not sufficient.

8. Support the patient’s right to freedom of choice and the right to know.
Because of monopolistic practices, patients are not informed of all the treatments known from evidence to benefit their condition? What’s the point of extending insurance to all Americans if they’re blocked from making choices outside the old paradigm—indeed, services and products that much of the population now demands and believes in, and that are well-evidenced.

 

Cost-saving and quality measures that can heal our broken health care system

Drawn from the acclaimed new book, A Return to Healing

1. Support prevention and healthy lifestyle for all ages.
The preventive measures recommended in A Return to Healing will reduce costs by making Americans healthier throughout their lifetimes. Our list of recommendations includes:

  • Fund new programs that make exercise universally available and attractive to Americans.
  • Tax junk food; subsidize sustainable agriculture and healthy, organic foods.
  • Disclose all treatments backed by evidence; many integrative treatments are preventive.
  • Expand support for preventive screens.
  • Ban direct-to-consumer TV ads for drugs; advertise healthy lifestyle instead.

2. Expand complementary/alternative medicine (CAM).
Growing evidence shows that preventive medicine and CAM are often the most cost-effective first line of defense. More research is needed (including comparative effectiveness research) into CAM at the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, whose work is still an embarrassingly small portion of the NIH’s budget.

3. Require that insurers cover proven CAM treatments.
We need to modernize insurance coverage so that it extends the integrative medicine revolution to everyone. Most non-invasive, natural, or CAM treatments are not covered by Medicare and private insurers, even when provided by licensed practitioners and scientifically proven. It’s time for legislators to understand that the new medicine saves lives and money.

4. Radically reform the FDA.
With the FDA’s credibility at its worst ever, there has never been a better time to enact legislation to reform it from the ground up. Support the American Association for Health Freedom, whose Reform the FDA Petition can be viewed at ReformFDA.org.

5. Support single-payer health insurance for all Americans.
Government-sponsored single-payer insurance can cut health care costs by up to 30 percent. But even more advanced reform is needed: Our current “disease-care” system is wasteful, counterproductive, inefficient, prone to corruption, and even lethal. Single-payer is a necessary reform, but alone is not sufficient. See A Return to Healing for more detail on how an update of the medical paradigm (see #1– 4 above) is needed along with reform of health-care financing.

6. Expand freedom of choice and the right to know.
A large portion of our population now demands and believes in CAM remedies, and many such treatments are well-evidenced. But because of monopolistic practices, patients are not always informed of all the treatments known from evidence to benefit their condition, nor are they always given the freedom to choose such treatments according to their preferences or beliefs.

 

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