The ENDOTHELIUM Association
All heart attacks and most strokes are caused by a sick endothelium
                                              ECONOMY


The US will go broke, as Argentina did in the last decade, was the
confident prediction of the Harvard economic historian Niall
Ferguson
on the Charlie Rose Program in the spring (2010). He did not
know when, but that it would happen, he had no doubt.  Nobody who
looks at the trend line in the growth of medical cost vs Gross National
Product can be anything but appalled  It is currently about (2011)18% of
GNP and growing. This is far higher than any other nation in the world.
While technical medicine is the best in the world, the overall results for
our population at large place us at the bottom of the industrial world..

The Congressional Budget Office rejects the idea that there is a future
magic bullet that will solve the budget problem but does support the idea
that there are large savings potentials in changing the way medicine is
practiced.  CBO points out that  
there are enormous differences
between in the annual cost of care per patient in different parts
of the country
without any sign that the medical outcome of the patients
is any better in the high cost areas as compared with the low cost areas.  
They also point out that
better medical procedure policies have
been demonstrated to make an enormous difference.
 Source: CBO

Dr. Ornish, in his most recent book, ”The Spectrum”,  published in 2007,
notes that in demonstration tests that were run across the country,  
“…
almost 80% of patients who were eligible for bypass surgery or
angioplasty were able to safely avoid it for at least thee years
.  
Mutual of Omaha found that it saved almost $30,000 per patient in the
first year.”  Unfortunately the patient numbers were small.
Source  
Ornish

Another insurance company, “Highmark (Blue Cross Blue Shield) found
that its overall health care cost was reduced by 50% the first year and an
additional 20 to 30% in  subsequent years.”  Why is this still not standard
practice?  One wonders why it is not the required practice.
Why are we
paying for what does not work?
These are questions that need  to be
answered.  Source  
 Ornish

The short term answer is to require doctors to tell people, who
are in trouble, their full range of options and probable outcomes.  
With this information, patients
can make better therapy decisions. Of
course, this is contrary to the financial interest of physicians.

The intermediate term answer is to change the way money is paid
to doctors and hospitals so that the emphasis is on prevention rather
than heroic surgical intervention. We  know that surgical intervention is,
in many cases, an inferior and far more expensive solution.  To financially
reward doctors for an ineffective forms of treatment  and financially
penalize doctors for following a more effective and less expensive forms
of treatment is bazaar indeed.  Who will change the system?

The long term answer is to educate everyone, and mothers in
particular,
so that they can educate their children’s sense of taste.   
Once the children’s sense of taste is educated, they will be more likely to
chose the foods that lead to a long productive life, free from heart
disease, cancer and stroke..

The problem is the money.  Circulation, the technical journal of the
American Heart Association, whose numbers are accepted as
authoritative, estimated
the total cost of CVD (cardiovascular
disease) at $500 billion for 2009, growing at 10.4% a year.
 Most of
this money goes to hospitals and physicians.
Source   
Campbell   Ornish

Doctors are trained to treat patients with either drugs or surgery. Diet is
not in the curriculum yet.  The great growth of patients. In addition to
heart disease, stroke and cancer, all with a heavy dietary component, is
obesity and diabetes. The California legislature recently passed SB 380
requiring at least 6 hours of annual dietary education for ll doctors. For
the YouTube on SB 380, Dr. John McDougall, the bill author, testifying,
go to:
www.youtube.com/user/drmcdougallmd.

This is a step in the right direction.

Congress may wish to address the question of foods subsidy payments.
Those that are bad for us are getting subsidies while foods that are good
for us getting no subsidies.