Medical bills are unaffordable; try preventing them instead?

September 22, 2014

This article in The New York Times highlights a few issues in the modern healthcare system by relaying a story of a man in spinal surgery being billed $117,000+ for a surgeon who wasn’t even in the room. One, the most obvious, is the profound cost of everything these days, making most restorative medical procedures completely untenable for normal people.

The author briefly touches on another key point:

Studies are limited but have generally concluded that after two years, patients who have surgery for disk problems do no better than those treated with painkillers and physical therapy — although the pain, which can be debilitating, resolves far more rapidly with surgery.

She also mentions that the ”rate of spinal surgery in the United States is about twice that in Europe and Canada, and five times that in Britain” and also that ”the United States has more neurosurgeons per capita than almost any other developed country” whose average salary is $590,000—perhaps we’ve simply skewed our own economy into favoring the get hurt + see a doctor + pay whatever they ask approach for everything? Now, I’m pursuing physical therapy as my profession, so maybe I’m biased, but I’m of the opinion that 90+% of common diseases and injuries are preventable.

It’s absurd to pay a medical bill that could probably pay off half of your mortgage on an injury that could’ve been prevented if only you sat up straight in your office chair more often (or stood up instead.) America’s real healthcare crisis has nothing to do with Obamacare or whatever the media wants to make you think; instead, it’s that preventative medicine has no place in our modern-day society, and this is a multi-billion-dollar tragedy.