Corporate Interests Dominate Health Care: Today's health care system is structured for big business to maximize profits and that can hurt patient care, says Dr. Harlan Sparer
May 03, 2015 08:45AM
● By Dr. Harlan Sparer
In 1973 President Richard Nixon signed the HMO Act. This bill put a new partner between health care providers and patients. Now, managed care has been inserted into the decision-making process of both doctors and patients.
People that have the financial wherewithal can purchase insurance that isn’t subject to corporate management or simply have it handed to them if they are in the upper halls of government as employees or elected officials. Others utilize tax-deductible health savings accounts to make their own choices based on wellness models. This leaves the majority of our population out in the cold, with second-rate health care at best.
There are many observed differences in the way health care is practiced in both medical and alternative health care, with the influence of attorneys, accountants and both pharmaceutical and nutraceutical corporations on our system. Home offices and home calls are rarely part of practice in the 21st century. Health care is provided with one eye on the clock. This results in ill-conceived, cookie-cutter diagnoses instead of detailed analyses and individualized search for true cause. Management in the form of many repeat visits and daily regimens of drugs or supplements earn the provider and the insurance company increased profit at the cost of the health of the patient. Honest providers are penalized for non-participation in the system.
Preventative health care and diet take a back seat in our system. Drugs with side effects affect quality of life as a matter of choice while our food supply continues to decline into a feast of toxic waste. Fast food and poisonous beverages are consumed in ever-increasing amounts, contributing to chronic disease in increasing numbers of people locked into an addictive and unhealthy diet. Morbid obesity is rampant.
The primary instrument of death has become the fork and the pill, with a generous side of corporate greed. The last remaining industry in the U.S. is chronic illness and death. The solution is a return to simplicity. This means retaking control of what goes in our mouths and our minds. We need to be more wary about repeat visits to providers that are ineffective, no matter what their purported degree and expertise is. Eating simpler and living simpler means an increase in health, regardless of what is being sold on the news feed.