“Last year, 75 percent of the $2.6 trillion the U.S. spent on health care was for treating chronic diseases that, to a large degree, can be prevented or reversed through lifestyle change,” says Dean Ornish of UCSF. Who (besides patients) has an incentive to make changes that would remove that money from the system?
If we all started demanding a model of health care that would help us change our lifestyles, it would take some time before the economics of that demand resulted in a change to the system, but it would come. As long as money and elections drive this conversation, we’re going to keep getting the same thing. And in that case, we probably deserve it.