What the health?
Let’s talk about healthcare. When I moved from The Netherlands to the USA, I was a naive girl. I didn’t know anything about the US healthcare system. Never heard of Big Pharma or the FDA. Simply grew up in a small country with a universal healthcare system that works like a well-oiled machine where cannabis is legal. The cost of my insurance was at the time 25 guilders a month (about $20) and everything was 100% covered.
In 2001 my daughter and I moved to the USA to be with my husband. The first problem we ran into was health insurance coverage for the both of us. My husband’s premium went up from $500 to $850 a month.
$850 a month?! Well, that was my first holy cow moment, I can tell you that much. We can go into a whole complicated discussion about why health insurance is so expensive. The bottom line is, it is, and on top of those expenses, medication is almost unaffordable, and health insurance doesn’t cover a whole array of things. Needless to say, the healthcare system in this country is broken and needs fixing, but that is a discussion for another day.
Then there is the problem of Big Pharma and the FDA. Why are they a problem? Well for starters, the FDA allows things in our food that is dangerous. They are illegal in other countries (like my home country), notoriously bad for you and even known to cause illness.
Example: do you know how many ingredients are in our food that causes weight gain? No? Google it. When something is listed as “low fat” that is synonymous with “Loaded with salt, artificial sweeteners, and cheap carbohydrates”. The FDA makes no serious effort to control the word “natural” on nutrition labels on products that are not natural at all. The worst part of that is, you’re likely paying a premium price for common junk food. So why does the FDA allow all of this?
One word: MONEY. The entire healthcare industry is centered around money. The FDA allows this because it keeps a billion dollar weight loss and fitness industry intact. Companies like Monsanto would like you to think that GMO’s (genetically modified foods) are going to solve nutrition problems or feed the world, while in fact, it is all about corporate control and profit, and it is literally killing us. Decisions are made based on profits, not on what’s best for us. GMO means chemicals. GMO’s and organics cannot coexist.
There are ingredients in our foods that are known to cause cancer. Why is that allowed? Well, Americans spend an average of 350 billion dollars per year on medication. That is not big business, that is the biggest business in the USA. This country outspends every other country in the world when it comes to buying prescription drugs. 12% of all our spending goes toward prescription drugs. Imagine what would happen to that industry if all our food was actually healthy and we would find alternatives for our insanely expensive medication.
The pharmaceutical industry is no different. Their objective is profit. They hide specific clinical trials to keep data away from the public and market the crap out of themselves (27 billion on marketing and advertising in 2012) for one single purpose; money. They spend more money on lobbying Washington than any other company and they throw big money around to influence elections and pave the way for candidates who will support their agenda. An average of $270 million spent on lobbying per year and you think they have your best interest at heart? And guess who the #2 lobbyists are in this country? That’s right, the health insurance industry.
Did you know that when a medication become popular they increase the price? Take for example Claritin (allergy medicine) Over the course of 5 years the price was raised 13 times that accumulative is more than 50% of the original cost. That hardly seems reasonable does it? And you won’t know about the price hikes until you’re standing at the pharmacy counter. No wonder they have such huge profit margins.
We live in a country where doctors really easily write prescriptions. So many problems are misdiagnosed or over-diagnosed. For example; ADHD in kids. As a former teacher I can tell you that out of the 25 kids I had in class, 8 of them were on drugs for ADHD. That is 1/3 of the kids in my class that were 3-4 years old. This is one of the most over-diagnosed problems in this country, and parents happily put their little 3 years old on chemical poison, while all they probably need is a lot more attention, parental guidance, and playtime in the park.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have seen serious cases of ADHD that absolutely required medication. But I have also seen many kids being normal, loud and busy 3-year-olds that were on ADHD medication to “calm them down” that absolutely did not have ADHD, even passed the ADHD test with flying colors and showed no signs at all. It is sad to think we have come to this.
My point is; Medication is wonderful when needed and appropriate, to cure diseases and illnesses. However, in this country, we use way too much medication for things we don’t need it for and we need to stop “sponsoring” the pharmaceutical industry and start looking for alternatives. Trust me, I am walking proof that alternatives and natural solutions are out there.
Think about what is best for your health, your family’s health, your kids’ health and your wallet. I cannot imagine anyone thinking that learning more about that is not worth a shot. Let’s chat about your health concerns and talk about natural solutions for you and your family because you are so worth it!
Come visit me at our awesome facebook tribe, where we talk a lot about these things and where you will find like-minded people. If that is not your thing, feel free to drop me an email. I am looking forward to chatting with you!