Did you know that in 2017, America spent about $3.65 trillion, or 18 percent of national health care GDP (NHC_GDP), on health expenditures, which more than twice the average among most developed countries. Chronic illnesses/diseases are a major contributor to the rise in health care costs. 90% of every dollar the US spends on health care goes toward treating chronic illness.
Medical professionals believe that about 80% or more chronic diseases are preventable or almost completely reversible with the right combination of health and wellness promotion and medical intervention.
As a nation, if we had been able to eliminate 50% of the cost of treating chronic illnesses in 2018, which is reasonable; our NHC-GDP would have been 12%, six percentage points (-6%) less than our actual GDP. This level of spending is just about equal to Switzerland, with the second highest NHC-GDP. Did you know that over 48% of our population suffers from chronic illness? Did you know that 2 out of 3 (66%) of Americans are overweight and almost 40% (124.4 Million) are considered obese? Did you also know that our Health and Human Services Department has had the premier Preventative Services Task Force since 1984? Their recommendations are considered the Gold Standard for clinical health preventative services in the world. Still, according to the “New England Journal of Medicine,” by the year 2023, seven chronic diseases will have a total annual impact of $4.2 Trillion dollars on our economy.
Most Americans know that many Americans are overweight (to an unhealthy degree), and it is causing us a lot of problems and a lot of money. Obesity-related health conditions include heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers, which are the leading causes of preventable and premature death.
The savings from the improved treatment of chronic illness and the restructuring of the health insurance market should easily exceed 8% of GDP. To make a long story short, it is within our power to substantially reduce the cost of our health care in the United States. We have the skills and expertise to simultaneously reduce our health care NHC-GDP to a competitive world market level, secure our exceptional and unique health care financing system, and improve the health, productivity, and insurability of the American people.
Properly designed, competitive, expertly administered and adequately regulated Medicare Advantage for All (MAA) plans can be a meaningful start and will make an important contribution to the health and wellbeing of our people and our nation. After MAA, we will need to invent the next generation Defined Contribution Health plan that tangibly will reward participants for improvements in their behavior and incentivize medical practitioners to deliver effective Preventive Predictive Personal Medical care that will prevent illness, improve health and maintain improvements over the long term. We call this the Trump Apollo Medicare Advantage plans.
These plans will not happen unless we get together and get brutally honest with ourselves. The truth is the ACA’s government regulation created rapidly increasing health insurance premiums and restricted health insurance markets. This accelerated the rise in health care GDP and priced millions of unsubsidized Americans out of the market. Continuing to throw money at the ACA program will only make matters worse. Over the last seven years, all Americans aged 25 – 64 have increased rates of death from ALL causes. U.S. infant mortality is 71% higher than the average of comparable nations of the world. Americans are dying and the ACA has failed us. We are the suckers, paying more than anybody else and getting less for it. It is time to get serious about health reform. Americans are dying.
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