I was talking to an American friend about his health insurance. It now costs $1,700 a month. This includea a $7,000 deductible. This is up from $1,000 5 years ago. This is a house payment. I asked him when he thought it would reach $2,500 a month and what would happen then. "At this rate in maybe 2 years and I just won't be able to afford it"
If you think this is bad, and you live in Canada, don't be too smug. In less than 3 years Canada's smallest province, PEI will have total health care costs that exceed its tax receipts. In 7 years time, health care costs will be double the tax receipts. This trend will apply to all provinces in time.
By 2030, Alzheimers alone will cost Medicare the entire budget. The Health Care system that we know - get a pill for each ill when you are ill is going to crash and burn. It has already in places like Greece that does not have the funds to pay anymore. Source NPR
"There have been changes in the health sector across Europe. For example, raising copayments for medicine and doctors' visits are now more common. But the cutbacks in Greece have been the most drastic so far.
The effects of these cuts are obvious at the Hellenikon Metropolitan Social Clinic outside Athens, located near an abandoned U.S. Air Force base.
Olga Baklatzi is one of the many volunteers at what they call the underground clinic, created 13 months ago to serve those no longer covered by health insurance. She describes the kind of people who come to the clinic.
"Middle-class, simple people, working people, they just lost their jobs, builders, people who worked in shops, they are well-dressed, not scruffy or dirty," Baklatzi says.
Medicines are donated by families of patients who don't need them any more and by pharmacies.
In just over a year, 4,500 patients have visited this clinic, which provides everything from dental to cancer care.
A well-dressed, 56-year-old woman waits in line at the reception desk. She prefers not to give her name for privacy reasons. She has come for free medicines for her breast cancer. She hasn't had health coverage since 2008, when her family recording company went bankrupt.
She is angry. Her three grown children have university degrees, speak several languages and have all lost their jobs. She holds back tears. Her bitterness, she says, is the cause of her cancer.
One of the founders of the underground clinic is cardiologist Giorgios Vichas. With three years of austerity cuts, he says, life expectancy is dropping, while infant mortality has grown by 4 percent — shocking statistics in peacetime in the Western world.
The clinic, Vichas says, offers more than doctors and medicines.
"We also give them back the hope and dignity that has been taken away from them," he says."
I don't think we can count on this system anymore. And with all this cost, what do we all get? Are we as a society getting more healthy or less? You know the answer.
So the nest question is, What are you going to do?
One of the things you can do is to read my new book - out in March - You Don't Need Medicine to Get Healthy. Should be ready in March.
There is a real reveolution in health taking place where how to live to be healthy and to get healthy is becoming more and more clear. This book will offer you a guide to diet, your body and your social world. It is both personal and also rooted in the new science.