Easy Prevention Tips That Improve Your Health and Lessen Financial Burden

Chronic diseases–such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes–are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. These diseases account for seven of every 10 deaths and affect the quality of life of 90 million Americans. Although chronic diseases are among the most common and costly health problems, they are also among the most preventable. Adopting healthy behaviors such as eating nutritious foods, being physically active and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or control the devastating effects of these diseases.

The combined costs of chronic diseases to our struggling health care system amount to just over a trillion dollars a year. By 2011 when the baby boomers start retirement, our ailing system will have even more stress. There is no doubt, the current Medicare system can not handle that financial strain.

Consider this, the least expensive 70% of Medicare / Medicaid recipients account for 10% of the money spent. With the lion’s share going for chronic conditions. The United States cannot effectively address escalating health care costs without addressing the problem of chronic diseases.

As mentioned earlier, 90 million Americans live with chronic illnesses accounting for 70% of all deaths. One risk factor associated with many cardiovascular diseases is smoking. The estimated costs associated with smoking exceed $75 billion annually.

A second risk factor, obesity is associated with arthritis and diabetes is further categorized into physical inactivity. And the direct medical cost associated with physical inactivity was over $76 billion in 2000.

Prevention is the easiest and cheapest way to combat chronic conditions. Let’s take for example smoking cessation campaigns. Studies have shown that stopping the use of tobacco is the most cost-effective method of preventing diseases among adults. It is estimated that for each smoker who successfully quits smoking he reduces the anticipated medical costs associated with heart attack and stroke by $47 in the first year and $853 over the next seven years.

One health insurance carrier’s annual cost of covering smoking cessation programs ranged from 89 cents to $4.92 per smoker. But the annual cost of treating smoking related illnesses ranged from $6 to $33 per smoker. For this reason smoking cessation programs have been called the gold standard in cost effective interventions.

Another chronic disease, diabetes accounts for nearly 21 million U.S. patients, some of whom don’t know they have the disease. More troublesome is pre-diabetes, a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. There are 54 million people in the U.S. who have pre-diabetes. Those 54 million coupled with the 21 million known diabetics accounts for nearly 25% of the population.

The cost for those nearly 25% is estimated at $132 billion a year. The average annual health care cost for a person with diabetes is over $13,000 compared to $2500 for a person without diabetes. The good news is diabetes can be controlled and in some cases prevented thereby lowering the staggering costs associated with it.

Recent studies have found that lifestyle changes that include moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent the onset of diabetes among adults at high risk. For people already living with diabetes, early detection, improved delivery of care and better education can demonstrate tremendous benefits. Studies in the United States and abroad have found that better blood sugar control reduces the risk for eye disease, kidney disease, and nerve disease by 40% in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

A final example of cost effectiveness is the effects of obesity on our society. In the past 30 years, the prevalence of persons being overweight and obese has increased sharply for both U.S. adults and children. In that 30 year time frame the number of obese adults aged 20-74 more than doubled to 33%. In children for the same time period the number of overweight kids nearly tripled to 14% in kids aged 2-5 years, it did triple to 19% for kids aged 6-11 and more than tripled for kids aged 12-19 to 17%.

This national problem puts our health care system at risk. Obese people are at increased risk for heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and some cancers. The estimated cost for obesity in the year 2000 was $117 billion annually.

A factor of obesity is the lack of physical activity. More than 50% of U.S. adults do not get enough exercise to receive health benefits, and 25% are not active at all in their leisure time.
Regular physical activity has many well known health benefits, reducing the risk for heart attack, colon cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure and possibly the risk for stroke. Exercise also helps control weight; contributes to healthy bones, muscles, and joints; reduces falls among older adults; helps to relieve the pain of arthritis; reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression; and is associated with fewer hospitalizations, physician visits, and medications. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking most days can benefit adults of all ages.

As we are faced with growing pressure to trim Medicare and Medicaid and reign in payments, prevention should be examined, especially as baby boomers age. It is estimated that a man aged 50 that doesn’t smoke, is of normal weight and is physically active is at an 11% risk to develop coronary heart disease, diabetes or a stroke. While the same 50 year old that does smoke, is overweight and does not get any activity is at a 58% risk of developing heart disease, diabetes or a stroke. That is a five fold increase.

Identify those at risk early and instruct them on the risks is much cheaper than paying the hospital, physicians, and disability bills later.

This is especially important when you consider that as the baby boomers retire, the work force will be asked to support many more chronic diseases. Projected figures estimate that by 2011 many more people will be withdrawing from social security than contributing.

Programs must identify chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis and diabetes. The common risk factors like tobacco use, physical inactivity, obesity and nutrition have to be targeted. Especially, we must target high risk patient populations in schools, work sites, and poor and minority populaces.

Presently prevention is given short shrift, actually we spend more on oil changes for our cars than we do for the prevention of chronic diseases. It is much more economical to get these programs up and running and see beneficial results than it is to pay and pay and pay for the medical and health consequences of chronic diseases.

Amazing! – Harness Your Subconscious for Health and Success

Claim your share of health and success, by learning to tap into the amazing potential ability available to you. Whatever you are suffering from at this moment ill-health, loss of your job, poverty, disappointment depression. Whatever you feel you are lacking there is a simple way to harness the power of the subconscious mind.

Human-kind has been tapping into this ability since man first walked the planet. How else could man have survived the ice-ages, droughts, and managed to disperse around the globe. Their descendants travelling the seas on rafts and makeshift boats to colonise distant lands.

How else could the inventors work their miracles, composers their music, writers create their stories. It is recorded that many musicians, composers and writers had their manuscripts unfold in their minds. Why leave the ability to the few, be one of them whatever your calling.

So what is this amazing ability that enables some to achieve their desires? Is is belief in their subconscious minds. Believing you will achieve your dreams and a planned formula for visualizing and achieving it. Never let your dream escape, let it always be present in your mind and “know” without a doubt you will achieve it, on the date you have chosen.

My old and treasured book that I keep returning to has strengthened my belief system and helped me achieve many things. You must read “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by Dr Joseph Murphy. (Now over a million copies sold); if you are at all interested in reaching your potential as fast as possible.

The Author cured himself of a malignant tumour 42 years before he wrote the book. The laws of the subconscious not only cure health problems but are capable of helping with any issue you are facing, if your belief is strong enough. The book is still in print, my draughty recently bought a revised copy.

If you knew you could not fail what would your dream be? To have amazing health and energy, lose weight, stop smoking, start a business, find a way to work at home? See what it can do for you – you have nothing to lose, and much to gain. Begin with small issues to build your confidence.

A couple of years ago my dream was working at home and I set up an online business. I have now almost finished my first book, what will be next? I don’t know yet but there have been many other achievements along the way.

If working at home is your dream too, like 2,000,000,000 others that daily search Google for opportunities. Affiliate marketing with the guidance of a coach is the simplest way to begin online. Because your products and training are provided for you it enables you to start earning commissions whilst you are still learning the techniques. Begin part-time and see if you enjoy it too.

So fulfil your dreams, think big, and decide which dream to start with. Happy reading!

The Book under discussion is:

“The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by Dr Joseph Murphy. ( Now over a million copies sold); Read it if you are at all interested in reaching your potential as fast as possible.

Bush’s Veto Threats Ignored – Bill Increasing Health Insurance Coverage to Texas Children Passed

President Bush’s threat to veto a bipartisan-supported bill to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program was ignored this week by Congress, who passed the measure.

Drafted over the last six months by senior members of the Senate Finance Committee, the bill is intended to cover the millions of children who will go uninsured if no action is taken when the program expires on September 30th. Eight million children in the U.S. currently lack healthcare coverage, including more than 1.3 million in Texas alone, and 7.4 million are insured under the present program. If not vetoed, the new plan would reduce the number of uninsured children by half — 4.1 million — over the next five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Texas, arguably, may be one of the states most affected by the outcome of changes to the CHIP, with 25% of its total population going without any health insurance whatsoever. Between 2001 and 2003, 21% of Texas children were uninsured, twice the national average of 11%. Cuts in 2003 to the national program discontinued benefits for 36% of Texas’ CHIP caseload; further cuts may absolutely devastate the state’s already-strained healthcare system.

The bill, which is supported by the Democratic majority in Congress, Republican lawmakers, and many governors of both parties was approved, despite presidential protests. “There is no question that the president would veto it,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto earlier this month.

The bipartisan plan would be funded by increasing the federal excise tax on tobacco products, giving the program $35 billion over the next five years, in addition to the $25 billion already slotted. The Democrats originally asked for even more — $50 billion over the next five years.

In contrast, the President’s proposal would add only $5 billion to CHIP’s budget in the same amount of time. Spokespersons for the White House say the plan would insure non-poor children, encouraging parents to drop private coverage and depend on government subsidies. Additionally, the bill does not include Bush’s suggestions for altering the tax treatment of health insurance, making coverage more affordable to millions.

Republican Senator Charles E. Grassley (IA), says he would gladly consider tax proposals, but “it’s not realistic to think that can be accomplished before the current children’s health care program runs out in September.”

But Texas doesn’t have the luxury of losing funding to CHIP, where more children are uninsured than in any other state, according to the Texas Hospital Association. Its percentage of uninsured is the worst in the country, and 86% of Texas voters in 2006 supported making health insurance more affordable and accessible to the wider population. Nearly nine out of ten believed the state should have a responsibility in increasing health insurance access, as a portion of the costs of the uninsured are borne by those who have insurance through higher premiums. In fact, annual health insurance premiums were $1,551 higher in Texas than the national average due to unreimbursed costs of caring for the uninsured, according to a 2005 Families USA study.

The uninsured tend to seek routine care at hospitals, where they cannot be refused an evaluation. These costs, then, are often carried by local taxpayers and by those with health coverage. This is particularly a problem in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, where many travel from rural areas of the state to seek care. But, in contrast to what many believe, most of those who are uninsured in Texas — eight out of ten — are working individuals who simply cannot afford coverage.

To add to the chorus of organizations reporting poor healthcare in the state, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a report stating that the uninsured are “less likely to have a regular source of care, to delay or forgo needed care, and to miss out on preventative care due to lack of coverage.” The American Hospital Association chimed in to state adults who lack health insurance are more likely to report “poor” or “fair” health than adults with coverage. In Texas, that means 27.6% of uninsured reported “poor” or “fair” health. Children are not depended upon to accurately report their own state of health, but translate those results into the juvenile population, and Texas — let alone the rest of the country — has a serious problem, indeed.

Many — uninsured and insured — eagerly anticipate the final outcome of this bill, as it will eventually affect nearly everyone, in some way or another. Premiums for those who already have health coverage may go down due to decreased deflected costs; increases in the budget to CHIP would allow millions of children to have insurance whose families currently cannot afford it. What is absolutely certain is that a response must be made, and soon, by Congress, to a healthcare crisis slowly crushing the nation.