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The 400# Gorilla in the Room

Photo by Doug888888

Photo by Doug888888

When it comes to our current health care delivery system in the U.S.,  the 400# gorilla in the room that few are acknowledging, is that treatment costs are out running the ability of government, employers and individuals  to pay for them.

There is lots of talk about the cost of Medicare, but the discussion is usually about the level of benefits and when people qualify for them.   Few or none are talking about the rate of increase in the cost of testing, diagnosing and treating an illness.

“Insurer’s Files show Big Cost Differences For Same Illnesses”  posted on Tuesday September 5th by Jay Hancock on NPR’s Health Blog “Shots”, comments on the cost and quality disparity of what health insurers pay for treatment.

He refers to a study published in the latest issue of Health Affairs that looked at care “ provided by nearly 250,000 doctors treating non-elderly patients insured by United Healthcare from 2006 through part of 2009”.

For example, for a common illness the treatment cost varied by more than a factor of 10.    When researchers tried to link treatment cost to outcome,    “We found essentially no correlation between average costs and the measured level of care quality across markets”.

Two thousand years ago a low cost healing system – available to all was introduced by Jesus.  He taught others how to heal as he did.   Many today turn to prayer and to his teachings for healing even today – particularly when medical solutions are not available or have been exhausted.

We have been educated to accept the Newtonian model of man as machine, and the majority of current medical practice takes this view.  Yet, there is this story of consistent healing and health based on a grander view of  love and grace and a relationship to a higher power that brings a health.  No spiraling health costs here.

Maybe, at some future time the cost of medical and pharmaceutical treatment will slow.   Can we bet our national debt on that, or should we be looking at alternative health solutions like prayer?