By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
Emphasize the prevention of disease rather than the treatment of symptoms, says U.S. health secretary.
According to a recent New York Times article, Tommy G. Thompson, secretary of Health and Human Services, suggested that United States insurance companies were “wrong headed” because they have been emphasizing the treatment of illness rather than the prevention of disease.
According to the article, Mr. Thompson stated, “to stem the epidemic of preventable diseases that threaten too many Americans… we need to move from a health care system that treats disease to one that avoids disease through wiser personal choices.”
Moving from a health care system that avoids disease rather than treats the symptoms of disease, that is the cornerstone of chiropractic care. Address the cause and not merely the symptom. It appears that the U.S. government is now beginning to recognize the rewards of disease prevention and adapting a healthy lifestyle rather than waiting until symptoms have occurred. Merely treating the symptoms of disease is a practice that far too many Americans are familiar with through current traditional medical care.
According to the article, a health insurance representative said insurance companies in recent years have increasingly been willing to pay for tests and procedures that are intended to detect or prevent diseases in people that have no symptoms. This is an important step since in the past, people with no active symptoms were often turned away by health care insurers.
The sickness model of medicine has long been in contradiction with the wellness model of health. The World Health Organization definition of health reads: a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
According to the article, the secretary of Health and Human Services is determined to “persuade Americans to change their lifestyles” in the coming year. The United States reportedly spent $1.4 trillion on health care in 2001 and according to the Health and Human Services secretary, nearly three-quarters of that 1.4 trillion dollars went to the treatment of chronic illnesses whose prevalence could be reduced through the prevention of those conditions.
New York Times: Emphasize Disease Prevention, Health Secretary Tells Insurers
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Planet Chiropractic: Not So Excellent Health
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