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Natural Care Reduces Health Care Costs

Posted Jul 21 2009 10:13pm

Though House Bill 3200 is a giant step in the right direction for American health care reform, those who oppose it have a valid point. It’s focus on improving access to mainstream care is much too expensive.

Medical insurance does not open the door to quality health care. I know because I lived on the edge of disability for more than two decades.

Mainstream providers insulted me for years before they understood that I was sick. By then I was too weak to stand in the shower or put dishes in the dishwasher. My muscles ached so badly I literally wanted to die. When my doctors finally listened, they didn’t know what to do.

Such providers have limited understanding of what it takes to prevent or reverse chronic disease. They rely too heavily on making referrals to colleagues who specialize in advanced damage to a single body system.

The systems approach to health care is ineffective and too expensive because the body is a unit. Even mainstream providers have some understanding that health is the result of proper interaction between all systems of the body.

Natural care providers have a more cost-effective holistic approach. A 2004 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, for example, reported a four-year study of 21,743 patients. The study demonstrated that care directed by doctors of chiropractic yielded the following savings:

  • 51.8% in pharmaceutical costs
  • 43.2% in surgeries and procedures
  • 43% in hospital admissions
  • 58.4% in hospital days.

Functional medicine (FM) practitioners, another of many natural care providers, base their treatments on research that has appeared widely in peer-reviewed journals. Providers in my area charge just $375 for comprehensive testing that addresses the common roots of chronic illness. A nearby FM provider recently rescued a friend of mine from certain death.

Natural practices are also less invasive and, therefore, less dangerous and less expensive, which will reduce the cost of malpractice insurance. Insurance companies have begun to recognize this fact and to include natural care in their coverage.

I shudder to think what condition I’d be in without alternative providers. Their expertise has saved our family, insurance companies, and the nation from the costs of treating irreversible chronic disease and a life of dependence upon disability benefits. I feel better than I have in about 20 years, and I’ve developed a plan to support myself. Health care reform as planned could not produce those results and will not solve our health care crisis.

For more information visit the sites of The American Chiropractic Association, The Institute of Functional Medicine, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

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Jacqueline L. Jones is author of Unmasking a Diagnosis: How to get Help for a Confusing Chronic Illness Without Filing for Bankruptcy.


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