THE BLOG
07/23/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Burden of Health Care Costs and What You Can Do About It

Maggie Fox's poignant Reuters article today, "Americans Struggle to Pay HealthCare Costs," is compelling and speaks to the urgent need to help Americans care for their health (true "health care") with higher standards and increased funding at the FDA and personal measures like diet and nutrition.

The article is especially powerful in that it comes on the heels of the studies out of Harvard showing a 55% increase in medical-related bankruptcies since 2001 (to be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Medicine) and studies showing that almost half of Americans now suffer from at least one chronic disease (RAND Corporation).

In subsequent studies, it would be interesting to include questions that speak directly to the healthcare costs associated with children under the age of 10 (who are quickly earning the title "Generation Rx" as I highlight in my book on page 186).
• What percent of health care spending do these children represent in the family's budget?
• What percent is visits to specialists?
• What percent is on prescriptive drugs?

And, to follow, it would be interesting to ask about willingness to implement slight diet modifications in an effort to reduce these expenditures.

Unfortunately, in our commercialized health care system, there is little incentive to implement preventative measures at the precautionary level at the FDA, given the profitability to be found in illness and the prescriptions that surround it.

However, there is a lot that can be done on the personal level, given this failed federal policy and flawed incentive structure which favors prescription over prevention.

Is it worth implementing a few of these changes in your own home?

In the words of Sarah Palin, "You betcha!"

To learn more about simple changes that you can make, please visit www.robynobrien.com where you can read excerpts from Robyn's book, The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It, which has recently been seen on The Today Show and in People Magazine.

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