More headlines such as this one from USA Today can be expected as the realization hits that:
- Healthcare costs are out of control and will remain so unless some disruption occurs in the marketplace. Current efforts to control costs talk about reducing the increase to 3-4% per year, from the much larger increases seen today.
- Regardless of who writes the initial check, all consumers will foot the bill. Healthcare costs have risen disproportionately to incomes for years and it will continue to eat away at 100% or more of your annual salary increase each and every year (see infographic below).
- Consumers and companies are seeing little hope in either the traditional healthcare industry or the government leading us out of this mess. So surely and perhaps none-to-slowly they are taking matters into their own hands. Warren Buffett calls our healthcare system “the tapeworm in the U.S. economy.”
This headline is the latest example of a significant effort to disrupt the current status quo in healthcare. Not coincidently, Buffett’s Berkshire, Amazon and J.P. Morgan Chase are committing significant resources to try to find ways to impede the growth and reduce the cost of healthcare. These three businesses insure their 1.2 million employees (and their families perhaps) and therefore have a stake in trying to do better.
The only hints at what this group hopes to accomplish are the vision of reducing waste (currently estimated at 25% of healthcare costs) and improving treatment.
Consumers, nutritionists, fitness experts and many medical researchers and practitioners know that the most immediate and significant efforts that can be made to stop healthcare cost increases and roll them back involve lifestyle choices.
- Food choices
Science has proven over and over again, in study after study, that a healthy selection of foods will lead to MUCH reduced chronic disease including:
- and, of course, the fastest growing, devastating disease, Dementia.
Instead of a 3% increase in healthcare costs or a 25% one-time reduction, proponents of the Food, Activity and Sleep approach see a path to as much as an 85% reduction in healthcare costs led by changing your eating habits.
Any move to cure healthcare costs that ignores lifestyle adjustments would do so at the cost of expediency and scale. Changes range from challenging (exclusive plant-based diet) to modest (giving up all beef, chicken, and pork) to fairly straightforward (switching out traditional proteins a couple times per week, for seafood supplemented by lots of veggies, fruits and legumes). The most straightforward adjustments, made by consumers of all ages, will have an immediate and substantial impact on you, your family’s health and eventually on your healthcare costs. As Hippocrates, the original physician said: “Let your food be your medicine.”
And fresh, sustainable, safe seafood is a snap to prepare and oh, yeah it is DELICIOUS.