October 2006, Vol. 16, No. 4
Table of Contents
Do 90% of Acute Low Back Pain Episodes Resolve Within Two Months Regardless of Treatment Rendered? • Blues Already Using CCGPP to Cut Claims! • CBP® Annual Awards • Chiropractic, Disease, Adjustments and Other Voodoo! • Effective Initial Exam • It's Don's Opinion • Letters to the Editor • Neurosurgeon Heralds Posture Pump® MRI Study • New PCCRP X-ray Guidelines Will Protect Your Rights • Association of NJ Chiropractors OPEN LETTER to the CCGPP • PosturePrint® Head Manuscript Accepted by JMPT • Research Corner • The Benefits of Short Duration Whole Body Vibration • Triano and CCGPPs Will Give You Six Visits Part II • PostureRay™: Digital X-ray Digitization and Analysis has Finally Arrived
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Letters to the Editor
Chiropractic and other forms of alternative medicine would be far-more successful if they would tackle the issues presented to them by the existence of the monopoly that dominates their industry.
A capitalist system, free to operate without interference and biased governmental regulation, would already have solved the problem of high healthcare costs through competition. Unfortunately, we are now dealing with an insurance, pharmaceutical, medical, media and government Complex which continues to depress the performance of healthcare for its own financial ends. This Complex over-uses traditional medicine, the most expensive and deadly of the healthcare tools, to the point where medicne has now achieved the status of having become the “leading cause of death”. (Read “Death by Medicine” by Gary Null, PhD, available online.)
The drug industry has bought the integrity of the media by providing them with 50 percent of their ad sales revenue. In exchange, the media “fails” to deliver the news about healthcare’s performance evaluation or the involvement of the insurance, pharmaceutical or governmental entities. How would an evaluation of medicine look? We lose 2.2 US soldiers in combat in Iraq every day. At home, we lose over 2400 Americans daily at the hands of our medically-dominated healthcare system, rounding off to the nearest hundred deaths per day. The 900,000 deaths annually is quite literally the crime of the century, numerically larger than holocaust of WWII, yet it does not end at seven years. At least our US holocaust is non-denominational.
Strangely, American journalists and media anchors can’t seem to find anything about this story to report. That is not a wonder, since half their salaries are paid indirectly by drug companies. That buys a silent media. Drug companies also have serious conflicts of interest regarding how they payoff MDs for selling their drugs. Then there are the payoffs to elected and appointed officials through perks and PACs. We have Sen. Bill Frist flying around on Merck company jets. We have 40 former US Senators and Congressmen who are lobbyists for drug companies. Sixty-five percent of FDA employees go to work for corporations they were once charged with regulating. Healthcare now costs the US about $2 trillion a year or about $6500 per person per year, thanks to these kinds of behaviors. As long as we overuse medical treatment and encourage people to poison themselves back to health on broadcast media advertising, we will continue with high costs.
What’s a corporation to do? The answer is, “Operate your business as though you live in a free-market, capitalist society. Reward your employees with lower premiums for measurably good health.” How does rewarding for performance apply to reducing costs inside the corporation? To answer that, we must examine the nature of group insurance. Why does group insurance apply the same premium to everyone? Are all the people in the group of near-equal health? Not only are they not near-equal, health statuses are now more polarized than ever. Healthy employees make time and financial investments in their good health. Exercise, out-of-pocket alternative treatments, nutritional supplement expense, restraint of diet and higher quality food all represent time, effort, study and money. And how does the corporation reward these efforts? They make healthy people pay a significant portion of the premiums for unhealthy people who will not make the effort and investment. Such a system punishes its top performers. No wonder it fails. For more on this topic, read Who’s Representing the Healthy?
Furthermore, level premiums serve to enable the unhealthy by mitigating the consequences for their poor performances and over-utilization of health services. Have CEOs, HR VPs or benefit managers ever wondered how this kind of unsuccessful insurance policy would ever motivate unhealthy employees to make improvements to their health that will reduce corporate costs? And let’s end the attempt to single out the overweight or the smoker. That’s merely attacking visually-offensive employees. There are many people who look great on the surface but who are profoundly unhealthy. Each person’s health must be measured annually. From that testing, individualized premiums can be assessed. Such a program will create a financial incentive to be healthier and earn lower premiums. Competition will occur as employees compare their individualized premiums around the water cooler. The current system has no consequences for either good or bad performance.
The insurance industry increases the damage by economically forcing patients to seek medical advice, since alternatives are so poorly reimbursed, if at all. People are forced toward drugs and surgery because that’s what has the best reimbursement. While the media reports very little on the successes of alternative treatments, the medical community continues to say that alternative medicine lacks research and is unproven, if not riskier. These statements spew from the mouths of those who offer the most dangerous and expensive forms of care and who are now the leading cause of death.
MDs are not trained to deal with nutritional complications, biomechanics and non-invasive treatments for immune inflammatory disorders other than through drugs and surgery. They do not study alternative techniques or nutrition except in a limited way while in most medical schools. Research has revealed that only 25 percent of patients have legitimate medical emergencies at which MDs excel. The other 75 percent of cases legitimately belong under alternative medicine. Such early-stage patients are made chronically worse by using drugs as their first-line therapy. The Samat/Winterstein study published in the JMPT revealed that replacing MD gatekeepers with alternative doctors resulted in cutting in half, or nearly so, the following costs: hospitalizations, days spent in the hospital, prescriptions written and surgeries performed. These reductions occurred over a four- year period in a Chicago HMO. The Samat/ Winterstein study also catalogues in its bibliography the research done over many years that show the superiority of chiropractic performance vs. MDs.
Investors could be solving this problem and making a bloody fortune in the process, but investors have not yet figured out how to do this. They also don’t know the details or power of alternative medicine. They don’t recognize that the Complex relies on healthy people as a major source of funds without which their program would collapse What would happen to the standard group plan if an investor group began offering insurance to healthy people? The Complex would lose that source of funds. Premiums in their group plans would rise dramatically, having lost their low-cost, healthy policyholders who kept the average premium lower. Soon, no one would be able to afford the average premium offered by the Complex.
What can alternative medicine do, other than continue to complain to those who not only don’t want to hear about it, but who receive money from this financial conspiracy? The individual alternative doctor can seek out local corporations and help them set up programs designed to reward employees with lower premiums for better health and thus provide them with alternative medicine. Who’s Representing the Healthy? describes such a program.
Alternative docs can also attract the investment needed to put together an insurance concern that offers insurance to healthy people. Once the insurance industry gets wind of the fact that someone has been successful at offering insurance to healthy people, it will be the signal that all insurance companies will need to make similar offerings. After all, what insurance company would want to be stuck with unhealthy people only? Premiums for only unhealthy people would be so high that no employer could afford such a plan. Ultimately, being irresponsibly unhealthy will only be available to the very wealthy. The average person, who wants affordable premiums, will have to manage his/her health to achieve lower premiums. That is as it should be. National health care will offer a worse version of what we have now and will further enrich the den of thieves who dominate today’s healthcare systems.
Thomas N. Campbell, DC
I just wanted to express my thanks and gratitude for all you have done for Chiropractic. Only because of your time, effort, intelligence, dedication, can I confidently look into a patient’s eyes and tell them, “Yes, I think we can change that.” I and all my past, present, and future patients owe you a big “Thank You!”Sincerely,Dr. Ben RallSioux Falls, SD
Compliments like yours keep us going, even if we get very discouraged (just before we get mad) when we are faced with restricted care, restricted modalities, restricted x-ray rights, and restricted treatable conditions from members of our own profession (eg, CCGPP, Red Flag X-ray Guidelines).
Don Harrison, PhD, DC, MSE