As I write this, the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA or Obamacare) is being dismantled for who knows what as a replacement. Although I personally think that the ACA was a great, first attempt at finding something better than a health care system that was already too expensive for most Americans, it does have it’s issues. But, you can never know all of the problems until something is actually put in place. In my humble opinion, we should now be focusing on correcting the things that don’t work with the ACA. That said, what I really wanted to talk about was the most affordable care… preventative care.
According to the CDC, 75% of health care costs are on people with chronic conditions. These chronic conditions include heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, and respiratory diseases. Furthermore, the CDC estimates that eliminating these 3 risk factors – poor diet, inactivity, and smoking – would prevent:
- 80% of heart disease and stroke
- 80% of type 2 diabetes
- 40% of cancer.
While I know that the majority of smokers know that smoking is hazardous to their health, I believe that benefits of exercise and eating healthfully are too often thought of as just a way to look better. Many people don’t understand the magnitude of health benefits that also come with them. Managing your diet and physical activity really is a health intervention. See Exercise is Medicine!
Going forward, whatever health care system is developed or put in place, it must promote preventative care or we as a nation will never manage health care costs. Of course, you don’t have to wait for that to happen. Take charge of your heath today.
“Without concerted strategic intervention, chronic diseases and their risk factors can be expected to cause more harm—and be more costly to society. We cannot effectively address escalating health care costs without addressing the problem of chronic diseases.” – CDC, The Power of Prevention