Tuesday, April 12, 2016
From 2000 to 2012, our nation paid out about $133 billion on its smoker's and their illnesses. (As an FYI, Canadians paid $2.8 billion. That shocked me!) All related preventable costs break down to this: For every $7 or $8 a smoker spends on his/her pack of cigarettes, we each pay about $35 for their health related costs, so essentially their habit is our problem. We rank highest in the world, by the way. Here are some other eyeopeners:
Type 2 Diabetes, another preventable disease, has skyrocketed...up 700 percent in the last 50 years. Having a cure (change the diet and start exercising) hasn't stopped us from racking up over $200 billion in healthcare, loss of productivity and disability costs. That is estimated at about $700 a year to each and every one of us.
If you don't think that is eye opening enough, check this out from www.statinusage.com about high cholesterol: By 2030, about 40% of our nation is expected to have some form of CVD. Direct medical costs expected to triple from $273 billion currently to $818. Indirect costs due to lost productivity should increase approximately 60%, rising from $172 billion to $276 billion. This combination comes to more than One Trillion Dollars! The website says that if we could cut those numbers down, it would be like giving every American household a $9,700 check every year.
This is only a sampling of a few preventable diseases, as I haven't even touched on drugs, alcohol, addiction, accidents, and so many of the diseases associated with what we put into our bodies. Did you know that the number one cause of cancer according to the American Cancer Society is no longer cigarettes? It is food.
So if we want to be fair about how things got so bad...if we really want to create change, we need to ask ourselves how much our own lifestyle practices are contributing to our ongoing complaints, our stress, not to mention our unhappy bodies. As far as offering healthcare for free...it might be cheaper to offer prevention and wellness for free, because if the old adage is right, a thousand in prevention will be worth a billion in cure.