President-Elect Obama repeatedly spoke during his campaign about the importance of providing health insurance for all Americans. But, before Congress and the Obama adminstration tackle the question of how to best make health insurance available to all Americans, they must first muster the courage to deal with a far deeper issue: the root cause problem that has caused health care costs (and therefore health insurance premiums) to spiral out of control. Unless they develop the guts to address this issue, national health care will remain too expensive to be pay for, regardless of whether it is government-run or market-run!

Consider the following excerpts from an article on Dr. Joseph Mercola’s website,

"The American health care system is more than twice as expensive as the health care system of any other industrial country, yet premature deaths caused by its inappropriate, and overpriced, interventions are increasing at an exponential rate. Despite the fact that Americans pay $7,600 a year per person for healthcare – 16 percent of the GDP – it produces remarkably poor results. We actually rank LAST out of 19 countries for unnecessary deaths, despite the vastly increased use of a wide variety of “wonder drugs” and vaccines.

"Americans have been successfully brainwashed into believing the fairytale that prescription drugs can prevent and cure disease. Fatalities now account for 23 percent of all reported adverse effects of prescription drugs! And overall reports of side effects increased a whopping 38 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the previous four quarters. A vast majority of the population is severely overmedicated with expensive and nearly always unnecessary drugs, considering the multitude of natural therapeutic options.

"The reason the U.S. ranks so poorly is because our system focuses on disease mongering and sickness care, whereas the health care systems in most other countries rely [more heavily] on prevention. As a result, the people in those countries live longer, healthier lives. What’s missing in all of the debates about health care reform for the United States is a holistic approach. Health has nothing to do with pills, and everything to do with sensible lifestyles that include a healthy diet, stress relief, and exercise. What we need to ask is how to give Americans more time to relax, exercise, cook healthy meals, and get enough sleep and healthy doses of sunshine."

The single most important key to reducing health care costs, and therefore health insurance premiums, is placing shifting the primary emphasis in the health care field from funding illness to supporting health. In my professional opinion, the following three changes would produce the greatest amount of change for the better:

  1. Reward the Production of Health-Promoting Food: The government must start supporting Americans in eating foods that are natural, hormone-free, processed as little as possible, and do not contain added chemicals that trick the brain into sending out hunger signals long after we’ve eaten enough (the chemical name for this class of food additives is "excitotoxins"). To accomplish this, the government must find the courage to educate the public about the truth regarding these items despite special interest pressure from food producers whose profits depend on providing the public with unnaturally raised, hormone-added, excitotoxin-laced, highly processed foods that damage rather than assist health. These food producers are damaging public health in far more massive and far more hidden ways than the tobacco industry ever did. Most Americans still have no idea how much this sociopathy on the part of these particular food providers has driven up the cost of health care. The government must therefore force the FDA to require food producers to fully disclose on food labels when they use hormones, excitotoxins and other health-compromising farming or processing methods. They must also require "danger" labeling on these fake foods that parallels what they currently require on tobacco products. In addition, the government should promote public education programs about this issue.
  2. Rely on Natural Remedies and Supplements First: The government must start supporting Americans in using natural remedies and supplements rather than perpetuating our addiction to using prescription medication and surgery as a first line of intervention. Those resources need to be returned to being the last-resort measures that they are supposed to be. In order to ensure that natural remedies and supplements remain as affordable as possible, the government must not cave in to the special interests pressuring the government to over-regulate them. The most valuable government regulation in this area would be requiring fully transparent and responsibly worded labeling on these products. The government and insurance companies should also start refusing to reimburse the use of prescription medications and surgery unless natural remedies and supplements have proved insufficient to help, or unless a patient is in an acute emergency situation in which these radical interventions must be implemented immediately. In addition, the government should promote public education programs education citizens about this change in health care orientation.
  3. Promote Full-Spectrum Self-Care: Most people’s notion of what self-care includes is far too incomplete to ensure sustainable lifetime health. In my three-award-winning book, The New IQ, I discuss what full-spectrum self-care includes, in addition to discussing why one of the biggest threats to health in adulthood is unresolved traumas. Its companion workbook contains a module for assessing your own self-care strengths and deficits, and for developing a customized plan for upgrading your full spectrum self-care, and another module for discovering and clearing up your past unresolved life experiences that may be compromising your health today. Health insurance companies should offer lower insurance premiums on a yearly basis to everyone who attends a half-day (or even a full day!) course each year on one or more aspects of full-spectrum self-care and for everyone who attends courses designed to help them resolve prior life traumas.

The U.S. Constitution created a government whose mandate is to be a servant to its citizens, not a slave to special interests who damage the health of its citizens. As someone who was just dubbed by Radio & Television Interview Report as "America’s Integrity Expert," I believe that the three action steps I described above offer the highest leverage starting places for restoring integrity to our health care system. It is up to citizens to demand that Congress and the Obama administration take these steps.

I strongly recommend that you take a couple of additional minutes to watch the following entertaining-yet-illuminating animated video about the root cause of our health care crisis. Then go to the link below it to read more about what Dr. Joseph Mercola says about this. But, before you do this, please also know that my main focus is on health integrity, not the question of health insurance per se. For more about my views on "health integrity" please read my Integrity Stimulus Plan, and especially the Health section.

For more on this topic, go to this page on Dr. Mercola’s website: