Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Vote with your pocketbook while you still can.
Here is why corrective medicine is considered a threat by conventional medical providers – they have little issue with the fact that what we offer is safer and more effective. The threat to them is, as always, economic: we are cheaper and people are choosing to spend money on correcting their native factors related to their health and not on surrogate efforts involving prescription pharmaceutical patented expensive side-effect riddled drugs.
In 2007, complementary/alternative medicine accounted for 1.5 percent of all U.S. healthcare costs.
Americans are voting with their pocketbooks. Although complementary and alternative medicine accounted for just 1.5 percent of all U.S. healthcare costs in 2007, Americans spent $33.9 billion out of pocket on CAM, 11.2 percent of all payments for healthcare. This sum is dwarfed by the $286.6 billion paid out of pocket for conventional medicine.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has prepared a report using data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey for 2007. That year, healthcare spending in the United States totaled $2.2 trillion. As we well know, that massive number of dollars, more than was spent by any other industrialized nation, failed to buy Americans either the longest life or the highest quality of life on the planet.
Of the $2.2 trillion, $33.9 billion or 1.5 percent was spent on complementary and alternative therapies. This may seem relatively tiny, but people were clearly voting with their wallets.
Two-thirds of the money spent on CAM goes to self-care therapies, which do not require being seen by a healthcare provider. Even so, in 2007 there were 354.2 million visits to CAM practitioners in the United States. Of the top 20 conditions that brought Americans to CAM practitioners, nearly 50 percent involved pain not well treated by conventional therapies. According to Dr. David Katz of Yale Prevention Research Center, “This is important, as it suggests that many patients have needs or preferences not met by the prevailing practices of conventional medicine alone.”
Conventional medicine has its role in emergency and trauma care, but CAM therapies address the root cause of chronic symptoms while helping people make well-informed, healthy lifestyle choices.
In less than 20 years after Dr. David Eisenberg rocked conventional medicine with his revelation that American consumers tend to embrace alternative medicine, most Americans would agree that CAM has truly gone mainstream.
August 11, 2009