This article was originally posted in 2008 and has been updated.
Under this week’s retrograde Mercury in Pisces, which has attached itself to travel companion Neptune over the next week, the William Barr Justice Department under President Trump has recommended repeal of the Affordable Care Act, generating a s*&#storm of panic and anxiety in the hearts of Americans.
The problem as I see it, though, is that the American healthcare system is completely broken. It doesn’t really matter how healthcare is paid for – the system is based on profit and corrupt at its core. It needs to be completely rebuilt. Pluto, the planet of destruction and regeneration, is in the US second house of money and finance. There has been a great deal of discussion among astrologers concerning how the US Pluto return over the next few years would affect the country, and perhaps this would be a good place to start. Healthcare spending in the US was $17.9B in 2017, or $10,739 per person. This is twice as much as the average of other comparable first world countries (only Switzerland comes close).
A recent Harvard study reports:
Maintaining five healthy habits — eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy body weight, not drinking too much alcohol, and not smoking — during adulthood may add more than a decade to life expectancy, according to a new study led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Researchers also found that American women and men who maintained the healthiest lifestyles were 82 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 65 percent less likely to die from cancer when compared with those with the least healthy lifestyles over the course of the roughly 30-year study period.
The study is the first comprehensive analysis of the impact that adopting low-risk lifestyle factors has on life expectancy in the U.S.
Americans have a shorter average life expectancy — 79.3 years — than almost all other high-income countries. The U.S. ranked 31st in the world for life expectancy in 2015. The new study aimed to quantify how much healthy lifestyle factors might be able to boost longevity in the U.S.
Everyone knows these things are good for you, but add FOURTEEN YEARS? That’s half a Saturn cycle!!
And this is not only in the United States: India is experiencing a sharp rise in heart attacks, diabetes and strokes as well as depression and an increase in suicides; in Europe the World Health Organization estimates that as many as 80 percent of heart disease, strokes and type II diabetes and 40 percent of Cancers are preventable by lifestyle changes; lifestyle diseases have been named by WHO as the number one cause of deaths in the South Pacific.
Our healthcare system is geared towards fixing a problem, not preventing it. Expensive and unnecessary tests, expensive medications to treat one problem and secondary medications to treat problems caused by the first problem – this is what is breaking our healthcare system. Nationalizing the system will only spread the burden of the cost but will not repair the system. The crisis in the healthcare system is rooted in the sedentary lifestyle of the world populations and the lack of easy access to nutritious foods. Doctors continue to recommend diet and exercise to their patients, but this is not supported by the government, at least not in the US.
The cost of healthcare in this country is spiraling out of control and will cost governments all over the world billions of dollars in future decades. Sensible government spending for prevention rather than insurance will help to curb this tide. Finding new ways to pay for healthcare will not solve the problem. The system is completely broken and needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.
Here is my plan to fix the broken healthcare system in the United States:
- Bring back compulsory physical fitness programs in public schools and offer kids choices of activities that fit their needs and abilities.
- Reward schools with economic benefits for serving healthy lunches.
- Provide funds to less affluent communities to build community centers with pools and fitness centers for adults and children.
- Provide single payer major catastrophic medical policies for all Americans. Completely separate insurance from employment.
- Eliminate pharmaceutical advertising. Doctors should prescribe medications because they are needed, not because an ad says to get a purple pill.
- Finally, we need to somehow get lobbyists out of government. As long as government is run by corporate financial interests, all of our systems will remain broken.
In my opinion, the idea of nationalized health care is just a bandaid on a rapidly growing cancer of ignorance and poor choices. (Check out this NYT article discussing the book Overtreated, by Shannon Brownlee.)