2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Knowledge Base

Welcome to our extensive library of articles on health concerns and conditions, alternative therapies, nutrition, nutritional supplements, and much more. Acupuncture / Traditional Chinese Medicine Aging Allergies & Food Sensitivities Alternative Therapies Big Pharma Evils Bone Health Candida (Yeast) and Parasites Cardiovascular Health Case Studies Chiropractic & Physical Medicine Dermatology Digestion Diseases Ear, Nose & Throat Environmental Sensitivities Eye Care Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Fitness & Exercise Health Insurance Issues Healthy Lifestyle Immune System Inflammation Integrative Medicine Lyme Disease & Morgellons Men's Health Mental Health Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Vitamins, & Herbal Remedies Pain Management Sexual Health Thyroid, Adrenal, & Sex Hormone Issues Weight Issues Women's Health

Health Care Reform and You (and Me)

Posted 08/11/2009

As the Washington battles over health care reform continue, these past weeks have left me seriously conflicted. My moods swing between glee at the thought of health care reform and gloom as it seems we’ve once again capitulated our country’s needs to corporate bottom lines. You’d think that as a lifetime Chicagoan, I’d be used to this by now.

From the looks of it, if any health care reform gets passed, the costs will be enormous, with the overruns channeled into the giant private health insurance companies which, to quote a long-dead and once-jailed Illinois politician “can smell that meat a-cookin’.”

The result I’m anticipating seems a far cry from a system that would give equal health care coverage for all.

If you want a reasonable analogy to our current health care system, it might be helpful to compare it to cancer. Yes, that’s right. The health care system has become America’s cancer and unless its growth is stopped, it may ultimately destroy our nation.

The first malignant cell appeared in 1973 when Congress passed the HMO bill (bipartisan, by the way, authored by Teddy Kennedy and signed by Richard Nixon), essentially encouraging health care for profit. In the ensuing 35 years, this cancer has metastasized throughout the entire health care system. Simple greed compels everyone to seek a piece of the action.

• Health insurance companies rake in incredible profits. UnitedHealth Group’s CEO Bill McGuire has earned $3 billion in salary and options–that’s not a typo–while the people his company insures grovel for their benefits and doctors file lawsuits against United for reimbursement.

• Pharmaceutical companies license drugs developed abroad before marketing them to the US public at prices many times the price the identical drug sells for in the country that developed it (Forest Labs CEO Howard Solomon’s paycheck for this creativity was $36 million).

• Hospitals bill patients and insurance companies as if someone’s finger was stuck on the “0” button. My wife’s recent four-day stay tabbed in at $95,000. My five-minute skin cancer removal $5,000.

• Even relatively small players try to cash in. Medical equipment suppliers sell aluminum walkers for $250, when you can buy one in any resale shop for $5. Medical laboratories bill insurance companies (and patients) hundreds of dollars for blood tests that cost pennies to perform.

• And, believe me, there’s no national tag day in the works for most doctors, whose mantra for 30 years has been “Bill ‘em high, bill ‘em often.”

In the end, we spend mountains of dollars on pretty mediocre health care. Europe and Canada have far better health statistics than the US. When I last checked, we were not quite at third-world levels, but somewhere close to the Balkans. Those stalwarts who continue to believe America’s health care system is so great remind me of the old joke about the restaurant where the food is awful but you keep going because the portions are huge.

If the health care system continues unchecked like this, we’ll be wiped out economically–both individually and as a nation. See? It’s like cancer.

But to carry the analogy one step further, there are, sadly, few magic bullet treatments for cancer. Although I myself would like to awaken one morning with universal single-payer health care a la Canada, I am realistic enough to know there are probably too many vested interests, too many lobbyists, too much money involved, and too much public confusion for this to occur in my lifetime.

In reality, cancer is a chronic illness with setbacks and gains. These days more and more cancer patients live for decades, often dying of old age or illnesses utterly unrelated to their formerly-fatal diagnosis.

It’s going to be this way with health care, our 21st century “chronic illness.” We’ll see a major gain when Obama’s bill passes–at least there won’t be 50 million uninsured Americans. The trade-off is that a lot of the people paying for it won’t really see much of an improvement and the lion’s share of tax dollars earmarked for health will continue to make the rich richer.

For me, as a practicing physician of many decades, I do embrace Obama’s broad outline of a plan. Every single work day as long as I can remember, I’ve been compelled to make uncomfortable decisions about what diagnostic tests, treatments, and specialists any given patient can afford. I’m disappointed that supporters of Obamacare had to relent on so many important points and feel a knot in my stomach when I see a photo in the news of an unemployed (and likely uninsured) single mom holding up a sign that reads “Fight Obamacare.” Somebody paid her to hold that sign, likely so she could feed her kids.

I urge you to click two articles. First, this New York Times editorial entitled “Health Care Reform and You.” It’s a couple weeks old, so it’s dated already. Nonetheless, the decisions Congress makes in the next few weeks will affect us all for decades to come.

Second, sent to me by my editor Heidi Hough, whose friends report you can see smoke coming from her ears when she reads about the way the health care bill is going. Here’s why.

Leave a Comment


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Upcoming Workshops

*Self Care for Chronic Pain with Yoga Therapy and Healing Touch
Monday May 15th and Monday May 22nd
6pm – 7:30pm
Workshop Fee $75

Are you looking for ways to manage chronic pain that doesn’t involve medication? Consider a gentle exploration in Healing Touch and Yoga Therapy that connects mind, body and spirit for overall health and wellbeing with WholeHealth Chicago’s Healing Touch practitioner Katie Oberlin and Yoga Therapist Renee Zambo.

Enrollment is limited. Register online here or by calling (773) 296-6700 to secure your spot.
Read More>>

 

*May Lyme Academy
Lyme & Lymph; A Source of Pain and Swelling
Tuesday May 16, 5:30-7:00pm

People with Lyme disease may experience pain, swelling and have decreased ability to move toxins out of their body. Karen Meier, Doctor of Physical Therapy, will be presenting information about the lymphatic system, how Lyme affects it, self care and manual techniques for treatment.

Registration:
Registration is open to patients of Dr. Kelley, and pre-registration is required. Please call WholeHealth Chicago at 773-296-6700 or see a Patient Services team member to sign up!

 

*Awakened Body, Quiet Mind
An innovative workshop series for relieving mind/body stress and tapping into your true power and natural health.

Four Group Sessions with Meghan Roekle, PsyD.

Four meetings using a unique combination of embodiment meditation and mental inquiry for deep healing.

Tuesdays from 6:00-8:00pm beginning May 23rd.  Register online or call 773-296-6700
More>>

 

*Facial Guasha Class
The Ultimate DIY Anti-Aging Facial!
With Mari Stecker, LAc
Thursday June 8, 2017, 6:30-8PM, $65 course fee

Join us and learn a traditional Chinese facial rejuvenation technique that you can do yourself! Guasha treatment is a 2,000 year old Chinese massage technique that uses a flat tool to apply pressure to the skin to increase circulation as it moves along acupuncture channels.

Facial guasha is an easy to learn technique that:
* encourages blood flow and promotes radiance
* prevents wrinkles
* activates cells to regain facial elasticity
* drains fluids to detoxify skin and reduce puffiness
* sloughs off dead skin cells
* uplifts and tones skin
* firms up facial muscles
* minimizes dark circles
* promotes a healthy, younger and more radiant look

Space is limited, pre-registration required by calling 773-296-6700 or online.
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: Vitamin D Deficiency

    Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: Vitamin D Deficiency

    Much of medical care is hampered by the black-and-white thinking of doctors. You either have a condition (symptoms confirmed by positive tests) or you don’t (symptoms, but no useful test results, and therefore “nothing’s wrong with you”). Doctors are uncomfortable with grey zones, like when …Read More »
  • Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses +1: Rx Drug Side Effects

    Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses +1: Rx Drug Side Effects

    I’d planned a series of six commonly missed diagnoses, but today I have one more, a life-threatening addition you’ll want to add to your mental list. If you’ve been following this series you know we’ve covered low levels of vitamin B-12 and vitamin D, subtly …Read More »

May Sale: 20% Off Juniper Ridge Products

Do most fragrances make you feel kind of sick? Juniper Ridge to the rescue! This unique company creates products with fragrance from actual plants, trees, moss, and wild herbs.

Support a small, honest business by choosing soaps, incense, and smudge sticks wildcrafted in the hills of California. During May, take 20% off.
Products on sale>>


HAPPY WOMEN’S HEALTH MONTH!
Take 20% off ALL products with “Women” in the product name
On Sale For The Entire Month Of May