Female Patients Translate into Huge Possibilities for Medical Doctors
Women stand the greatest risk of receiving an unnecessary medical procedure. If you are a female living in the US, when it comes to healthcare, you might as well have a target on your back.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one-third of American women have had a hysterectomy by age 60; and half of them have had one by age 65. Yet 85 percent of these surgeries are unnecessary, according to Ernst Bartsich, a clinical associate professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.
This adds up to more than $17 billion a year on direct doctor and hospital charges for hysterectomies.
If you’ve had a complete hysterectomy, meaning you’ve also had your ovaries and cervix removed, you don’t need a Pap test, which examines cells scraped from your cervix. Yet, a study in 2004 showed that 10 million women a year who don’t have a cervix are still getting Pap tests consisting of a scraping of cells from their vaginal walls – when no professional organization recommends this screening for women without a cervix!
For younger women who are in their child-bearing years, the health profession has found a different way to make money off you, to the tune of an extra $3 billion a year.
Spontaneous deliveries – waiting for a baby to come on its own – can be time-consuming for modern doctors, and can test your patience if you’re the mom-to-be. That’s why today 32 percent of American births today are through Caesarean sections (C-sections).
According to Intermountain Healthcare, C-sections are costly in more ways than one:
- They are the most common surgical procedure performed in America, increasing more than 50 percent since the 1990s.
- They cost an average of $16,671, compared to $9,428 for a vaginal delivery.
- Many are being done after a pre-term, elective induction that hasn’t proceeded quickly enough.
Additionally, a New England Journal of Medicine study showed women have up to four times the risk of complications with a C-section than a vaginal birth, ranging between $2,000 and $200,000 in additional costs.
And the complications can be serious, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, putting the babies at increased risk of brain, liver, and lung development problems. Caesarean-delivered babies are also more likely to need CPR, and to have significantly higher rates of respiratory distress, sepsis and hypoglycemia.
So why are C-sections so prevalent?
It’s largely a desire for control on the part of families, physicians and hospitals, the WSJ reported.
And according to USA Today, there’s another reason: “economic incentives” for doctors and hospitals to use these procedures, including bonuses for labor inductions which add costs and increase the risks for C-sections (surprise!).
So there you have it: for the sake of economic incentives, convenience, and control over what day and even time of day the birth occurs, babies’ lives are being put in danger – at an additional annual cost of $3 billion to the U.S. health care system.
From birth through teenage years, our current health care system has a goal of maximizing each new little profit center we usher into their business model. Because that’s what the system is designed to do, put profits first at the expense of everything else, including the health of our babies.
What chance do YOU have against this system?
Educating yourself and your family to their business model and their seemingly endless tricks to maximize profits. Because an educated and healthy consumer is the worst enemy of our current “sick care” model that passes for health care in the US.
Wait a Minute, Isn’t This Outrageous?
The drug and medical industry’s mounting greed IS outrageous, especially when you consider in this specific instance of C-sections the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that 33 to 75 percent of C-sections are totally unnecessary! What’s really maddening is that a study done between 2005 and 2006 showed that the cost of hospital charges for maternal and newborn care rose from $79 billion to $86 billion in just one year, with $2.5 billion of it as a result of unnecessary C-sections. In fact, delivering babies is the #1 profit center in hospitals, and rising every year.
Some points to ponder:
- In 2008 (latest data available) facility charges billed for “mother’s pregnancy and delivery ” and “newborn infants” ($98 billion) far exceeded charges for any other hospital condition in the United States.
- “Mother’s pregnancy and delivery” and “newborn infants” were the two most expensive conditions billed to Medicaid in 2008, involving 26 percent of hospital charges to Medicaid, or $46 billion.
- Nineteen other countries in the world have lower C-section rates than the U.S.; 29 nations have lower maternal mortality rates; 35 have lower early neonatal mortality rates; and 33 have lower neonatal mortality rates.
This last statistic is particularly concerning, because despite outspending every nation on the planet on healthcare, there are 29 or more countries ahead of the US in key childbirth related mortality rates. Simply stated, the US spends more money to have more mothers and both pre-term and full-term children die than just about 30 other nations.
But I’d venture a guess that our profit margins for corporations contributing to these staggeringly bad mortality numbers is NOT below those in the other 30 nations that are safer places to have a baby.
And if there were stockholders who held shares in something called the “public health” corporation, they would be in absolute revolt over these numbers and boards of directors of this corporation would be under pressure to resign. Wait a minute, isn’t the US Government the head of something much akin to a “public health” corporation?
So where is the outrage in the shareholders (you)?
Some Top-Selling Drugs Cause More Harm than Good
I don’t even need to say the word Vioxx to explain how some drugs do more harm than good. From anti-psychotics to pain-killers, cancer drugs and statins, many top-selling drugs are nothing more than ways to make drug companies and drug prescribers simply richer.
As an example, I’m offering this short list of drugs that, like Vioxx, have shown they can cause harm. But be aware: This is just a sampling. The list of all the drugs that belong in this category is so long it’s not possible to include them all here:
- Avandia, the diabetes drug for which its maker, GlaxoSmithKline, has agreed to pay $250 million to settle 5,500 claims, can cause heart attacks and kill users. GSK said in January it planned to set aside $6.4 billion for costs relating to litigation on this drug. LINE BREAK Avandia was recently pulled off the market in Europe due to its health risks. A 2007 study linked it to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack and a 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death than patients treated with other methods. More than 80,000 diabetics have suffered lethal heart attacks from this dangerous drug.
- 11 cholesterol drugs, commonly known as statins, are linked with serious side effects. Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, acting by blocking the enzyme in your liver that is responsible for making cholesterol (HMG-CoA reductase). The fact that statin drugs cause side effects is well established—there are now 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to increased cancer risk
- The birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin were touted to be safer than any other pill on the market when they first came out. But it wasn’t long before a flurry of lawsuits began claiming that they cause numerous health problems including deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the deep veins), strokes, heart attacks and gallbladder disease.
- Levaquin, a powerful antibiotic, has been linked to tendon ruptures of the Achilles, shoulders, biceps, hands and thumb, and is the target of multiple lawsuits.
- Accutane, a drug that was used to treat acne for many years, is also the center of multiple lawsuits. It was pulled off the market in 2009 after users reported side effects that included severe gastrointestinal problems including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Elevated risk of birth defects in the children of pregnant women also were reported.
Other dangerous drugs that have either been pulled off the market or are the center of lawsuits (even as they are still sold) include the smoking cessation drug Chantix, the pain killer Darvocet, the “bone-strengthening” drug Fosamax, which is made up of bisphosphonate compounds that have been found to actually contribute to bone death, the statin drug Crestor, the serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug Paxil, which has been linked to suicides and suicidal thoughts, and many, many others.
At this point I would be remiss not to mention vaccines, which can wreak havoc on your immune system.
The truth is vaccines are just another way that Big Pharma makes money by selling something that might make you sick – or sicker. Just one example is the flu vaccine: officials now know that the seasonal flu vaccine in 2008-2009 did absolutely nothing to prevent flu in children – and actually increased their risk of getting H1N1!
Yet, with the help of the rulings by the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC, the FDA and individual states’ mandated vaccination schedules, vaccine makers have a guaranteed bank roll in the form of your children.
In stark contrast to times past when vaccines weren’t such an attractive market, they’re now such a guaranteed profit center that Wall Street investors are being told to bank, bank, bank on vaccines.
Take Control of Your Own Health
We know nearly 26 million Americans now have diabetes, and over one in four of all Americans have either diabetes or pre-diabetes. We know the cost to treat heart disease in the U.S. is expected to triple by 2030, and that high blood pressure and cholesterol are “out of control” in the U.S.
We know the U.S. is the most obese country in the world, which has contributed to skyrocketing rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
We also know the U.S. spends more on health care than any other industrialized country. Yet, despite all this spending, the U.S. ranks 14th in mortality rates worldwide – meaning 13 other countries have a lower preventable death rate than the U.S. despite spending less money on health care, and two of these countries are the now nearly bankrupt nations of Greece and Ireland!
But the question is — why?
Some analysts say this poor showing is linked to declining rates of insured persons in the U.S. Others claim the figures are just plain skewed. But I suspect the high U.S. mortality rates have more to do with our obesity rates, lifestyle patterns, and our seriously flawed health care paradigm (“sick care”) than it has to do with insurance coverage or skewed numbers.
The current US “healthcare” paradigm is the one that defines preventive care as ingesting drugs to treat symptoms, not addressing lifestyle changes that can actually create wellness.
It’s a paradigm that’s being perpetuated today, even as our federal health officials tout prevention measures.
Don’t believe me? Look at the Surgeon General’s current “preventive” health plan, Healthy People 2020. While the goals of Healthy People are stated as reduced illness, disability, and death, what the plan actually stresses are assessments, diagnostic criteria, disease monitoring, and data collection.
The plan acknowledges behavior modification with dietary and lifestyle changes are important to reaching the Healthy People goals, but aside from a few sample awareness programs, the main “preventive” strategies are screening, screening, and more screening for diseases and illnesses you already have.
A “blueprint” for reformed health care compiled by the Center for American Progress and the Institute on Medicine as a Profession also has ideas for improving health care but doesn’t mention promoting wellness. The fact is no one seems to be discussing changing the paradigm of “managing sickness” that the U.S. is currently stuck in.
No one, that is, except the U.S. military.
This article is courtesy of Natural News