Most of us need to realize that we are ultimately responsible for our own health, that the first person we should hold accountable for our health is ourselves, not our doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical or health insurance companies.

We have to the power to get off the couch and on the treadmill, go for a walk outside, do a yoga class or strength training, go dancing or swimming. We have the power to stop playing video games and watching television late into the night and decide to get a good night’s sleep. We have the power to eat a salad instead of a grease and salt laden coronary on a bun. I am not saying we do not need our healthcare providers. On the contrary, they should always play a vital role in the management of our health but each of us needs to become primarily responsible for our own health. We need to make prevention of illness and disease a priority in our lives and our healthcare providers need to support us in this endeavor and of course be there for us if and when we get ill or injured.


Every year, more Americans are getting sicker at younger ages and the rates of chronic diseases/conditions like: heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity amongst others are growing. Almost one-fifth of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is spent on healthcare related costs. Our current system is already unsustainable and this growing burden means costs will continue increasing. Putting more money into the system without making some fundamental changes to it won’t help.

In order to address the root cause of the problem (which is too much disease), we need to fundamentally change the nation’s approach to healthcare. We need to get away from being a reactive “sick care” system to being a proactive “preventative care” system. The best solution involves the following components:

1-each of us taking personal responsibility for our own health

2-making healthier lifestyle choices in the way we choose to live

3-providing quality, affordable healthcare to everyone

4-rewarding individuals with significant financial incentives (up to $5000 per person) for improving their health and/or living healthy lifestyles.


A major article appeared in the Washington post on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 entitled, “Trump unveils plan to ‘get tough’ on U.S. drug addiction”. In this article, President Trump outlines his plan on how to deal with and ultimately end the opioid epidemic that is raging throughout our country. The main thrust of his plan is to take a very aggressive and tough approach to stopping the availability of drugs in the first place. By stopping the influx of illegal drugs into our country, plus better monitoring and control of people’s access to legally prescribed opioids, this problem can be solved. Drugs addiction claimed over 64,000 lives last year the majority of whom were between the ages of 15-44, a real tragedy. The sad truth about this, is this is one health problem that should be 100% preventable.

I have recently written a book entitled, Restoring “Health” To Healthcare in which I talk about the fact that when it comes to the healthcare crisis in our country, we are always trying to fix it by focusing on the results of the crisis rather than the cause and that is why we have been unsuccessful for almost sixty years now in trying to get this serious national problem under control. The cause is disease and too much disease especially chronic diseases like: heart disease, stroke, cancer, COPD, and diabetes. Since about 70% of all these diseases are preventable by early detection and making healthier lifestyle choices, the book goes on to offer a simple plan on how to solve our healthcare crisis by getting all of us into our doctor’s offices at least once a year and for us to focus on making healthier lifestyle choices. In addition, I recommend offering significant financial incentives (up to $5000 per year) to do so.

Last year, there were approximately 1,604,671 deaths due to the above named chronic diseases.  Almost 50% of the population in the United States has at least one chronic disease and about 33% have at least two such conditions. Chronic diseases account for over 80% hospital admissions, over 90 % of prescriptions, over 75% of doctor visits and at least 75% of all healthcare costs about $3.5 trillion. It seems so evident to me that if we could prevent 70% of the diseases that afflict us, then we would not have a healthcare crisis for long. So why when it comes to presenting new bills and proposals on how to solve our healthcare crisis, we never deal with this? That is a great question and it is also the reason that almost sixty years later we are still trying to figure out how to get healthcare costs under control.

Just like getting rid of drugs is crucial in getting our drug addiction crisis under control, we have to start getting serious and more forward thinking about getting rid of or at least severely minimizing so many of us contracting diseases especially chronic ones, so we can solve our healthcare crisis once and for all.



I am a big fan of the reality television show “Shark Tank” on ABC. The stars of the show are very successful and wealthy entrepreneurs one of whom is Mr. Kevin O’Leary who is known on the show as “Mr. Wonderful”.  When he feels things are out of control or they don’t make any sense to him he will often say “Stop the madness”.  Looking over recent events concerning healthcare laws from a national and state level, I say to myself, “Stop the madness”.

Before I go on explaining myself here, I must offer the following disclaimers. My intention is not to throw any one or several groups of people under the bus be those both young and old who have serious, chronic diseases or those who are under thirty years of age and tend to be in good health nor those who are poor and do not have access to and/or cannot afford health insurance. I empathize with these people and I believe all of us should have access to affordable, quality healthcare.

 In the recent news cycles we have seen the following laws or bills proposed that would seem to undermine the Affordable Care Act (the ACA).

1-The Improving Choices in Health Care Coverage Act presented last week by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), which would offer less expensive, short – term health insurance plans without some of the ACA’s required mandates.

2-A few weeks ago, the department of Health and Human Services was modifying federal rules to allow individuals and businesses to purchase cheaper insurance plans with less benefits that were required under the ACA and would extend these plans from three months to a year’s duration.

3-Last month the state of Idaho announced it was allowing Blue Cross of Idaho to offer cheaper health insurance policies that do not include certain benefits that are required by the ACA.

Now this week, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) have proposed a bill that would be included in the long-term spending package that Congress will vote on next week. This bill would designate $10 billion per year for the next three years to go to reimburse insurers who have funded people who have been very sick with high healthcare expenses and the poor who needed assistance to cover their co-pays and deductibles. This bill would tend to support the ACA and have the opposite effect on it, than the other three above would.

 To me all of these just shift the healthcare costs from one group of people to another. It is like getting Peter to pay Paul. What bothers me most is that neither one deals with the actual cause of our healthcare woes to begin with, which is primarily due to an uncontrolled increase in healthcare costs every year since 1960.

 To me the real crisis we face is the adherence to the belief system that accepts the absurdity the continuing to fund illness (“sick care”) is the solution to a healthy society. We know that a good seventy percent of all the diseases that many of us are afflicted with are AVOIDABLE by early detection and making some adjustments in the way we choose to live. Yet we never do anything on a national level to address this issue when it comes to making changes, modifications or regulations to existing healthcare laws or policy.

It is time to focus on the real cause of the problem. It is time to make a paradigm shift in how we look at and deal with health, illness and healthcare in this country. It is time for all of us to strive to become and stay as healthy as we can be. It is time for our healthcare system to transform itself from a “sick care” system to a proactive, “healthcare” system. That is what my book Restoring “Health” To Healthcare is all about. It offers a simple, uncomplicated plan on how this can be accomplished including financial incentives for up the $5000 for those of us who choose to improve our health.

 It is time to “STOP THE MADNESS”!


We have had problems with the rising costs of healthcare in our country since 1960. It seems no matter what we try to do, these costs continue to rise. Then in 2010, we had the passage of the “Affordable Care Act” or the ACA (Obamacare). While this law enabled millions of uninsured people to have health insurance, it did not stem the high costs of healthcare as they continued to rise. Here it is eight years later and we are still facing the same problems we have had all these years. There is continued debate, anxiety and concern by most of us about the state of healthcare in our country and there seems to be no consensus of what to do about it. Here are some of the most recent business transactions and healthcare law proposals/changes.

CVS, the large pharmaceutical company is going to buy Aetna Health Insurance Company.

United Healthcare Group is going to buy about three hundred healthcare clinics from Da Vita Medical.

Hospitals are morphing into large health insurance plans and health insurance companies are getting into the hospital business.

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway Group and J. P. Morgan are going to form an independent company to try and rein in healthcare costs for their employees.

Amazon is now entering the medical supply business.

Speaker Ryan spoke of getting back to dealing with entitlement reform in 2018 which could mean looking at changes in Medicare and Medicaid

In 2017, the state of California tried to pass a single payer system for everyone who lives in the state including the three million uninsured. It eventually lost traction because it would have required to raise taxes and it was tabled for the time being.

In 2017, we saw Congress successfully pass the tax reform bill which will end the unpopular mandate forcing people to buy insurance which will take effect in 2019 and is predicted to have a negative impact on the future of the ACA.

In January of 2018, the state of Idaho’s Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed an executive order that called for his state insurance department to allow insurance policy options that did not include some of the regulations required by the ACA. Blue Cross of Idaho is set to offer several plans that do just that. This is thought to be another step in undermining the ACA. While this is technically against the current healthcare law (the ACA), it remains to be seen if the Trump administration will allow it to move forward. There are reportedly several states waiting to follow in Idaho’s footsteps if it is successful in this endeavor.

The states of Arkansas, Indiana, and Kentucky have instituted changes in their Medicaid programs that will require healthy adults to work or be in job training programs to continue to get Medicaid benefits.

In October 2017, an executive order was signed by President Trump that expended the association health plans or the AHPs and also offered short-term insurance plans which would not have to include some of the essential health benefits such as maternity care, prescription drugs and mental health services. These plans are less expensive and help many people who felt priced out of the ACA’s one-size-fits-all plans. Now Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) has introduced a bill this past Wednesday called  “Improving Choices in Health Care Coverage Act” (S.2507) that would make these short-term health insurance plans permanent.

All of these changes demonstrate to me that what we currently have is still not working and we keep trying things that we hope or think might actually work. Trying to fix something that is broken is a good idea but what frustrates me is we keep focusing on making recommendations, business deals, changes and/or regulations to the different entities  that are part of the healthcare industry which I call the  providers. So after almost six decades now of going in this direction and still being faced with the same problems, you would think we might consider a different approach.

Here are some questions we need to think about. Before I list them, I want to make it perfectly clear that I believe all of us should and can have access to affordable, quality healthcare and that no one should be disqualified from getting health insurance because they have a pre-existing condition or conditions.

More and more people are getting sicker and sicker at younger and younger ages. How is this going to lead to less healthcare costs?

Many of these people have chronic diseases/conditions (such as: heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer and obesity) which accounts for at least 75% of healthcare costs? How will this lead to a reduction in healthcare costs?

All of these people will need more and more prescriptions, doctor visits, tests and procedures. How will this lead to less healthcare costs?

We already spend more than twice the average per year per person on healthcare (over $10,000 per person) than any of the other industrialized nations in the world and we are the unhealthiest of all. Why?

Our healthcare professionals are the best trained and best equipped in the world and yet we are the unhealthiest of the above referenced nations. Why?

It is time to accurately diagnose (the pun is intended) the cause of our healthcare crisis which is too much disease. It is time that the various groups that make up the providers of healthcare focus their knowledge, energy and resources on all of us (the providees).  They need to educate, empower, support and incentivize all of us to make health a priority in our lives, to take primary responsibility for our health, to emphasize the importance of making healthier lifestyle choices and being more “proactive” about our health.

I know how to do this and have put forth a simple, uncomplicated plan to accomplish this in my new book Restoring “Health” To Healthcare.


 Remember the start of this famous song by the Mamas and the Papas. “All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey”. There was a big push in California last year for a healthcare system for everyone and have it be single pay.

 The reasons behind this, was to have insurance for all and cut down on the rising cost of healthcare in the state. It seemed to be gaining traction until the people found out to fund it would require a tax increase. So for now it did not turn out that way.

Here is the beginning of the song entitled “Potato”, by Cheryl Wheeler. “They’re red, they’re white, they’re brown-They get that way underground”. In Idaho the state that grows those special potatoes, a new health insurance plan that does not stick to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) regulations can be found.

The purpose here is also to try and decrease healthcare costs. This would mean cheaper plans for those who are in good health and the fear is that this would mean less people signing up for the ACA. In addition, this could lead to a legal showdown with the federal government since it is technically against the law. There are other states standing by to see which way this will go.

What I find particularly interesting is that on the one hand, you have a very progressive state calling for a single payer health insurance plan which could end or replace the ACA. On the other hand, you have a conservative state that is offering health insurance plans that could further destabilize the ACA’s exchanges in that state and ultimately could lead to its demise. Though the two states see the solution to their rising health insurance problems and healthcare costs in totally opposing ways, one thing they seem to have in common is a problem with the ACA.

“All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey”. I mean no disrespect to either state but neither plan will turn out OK. The plan in my book, Restoring-“Health” To Healthcare can show them the way.


As a nation since 1960, we have had serious problems with the rising costs of healthcare. In 2009, there was a debate that was raging throughout our country concerning how to reform our healthcare system, how to get more people insured, stop rising healthcare costs and resolve the healthcare crisis that affected us all. This resulted in the passage of the ACA.  Now it is almost ten years later and having access to affordable, quality healthcare still causes a lot of anxiety and concern for most of us. In addition, healthcare costs are still going up (7% higher than wages) over the past six years.

In the past few months, the news has been filled with a variety of reports concerning different entities related to the healthcare industry making changes or proposing laws to try to curb healthcare costs. Here is a list of just some of them.

CVS, the large pharmacy company is going to buy Aetna Health Insurance Company.

United healthcare group is going to buy about three hundred healthcare clinics from DaVita Medical Group.

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway Group and J.P. Morgan are going to form an independent company to try and rein in healthcare costs for their employees.

Speaker Ryan spoke of getting back to dealing with entitlement reform in 2018 which probably means looking at changes to Medicare and Medicaid.

The State of Idaho is making healthcare law changes that would have cheaper insurance premiums for healthy people but those who are unhealthy may have to pay more.

Health and Human Services recently has proposed changes in the healthcare law that will allow individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance that will have lower premiums but fewer benefits. These happen to be benefits that many people do not want or need that are currently required by the Affordable Care Act such as prescription drugs, maternity care and/or access to mental healthcare coverage.

 It is too early to know if any of these will actually work or if they come to fruition in the first place. In addition, while I applaud efforts to try to do something about the cost of healthcare in our country, all of these plans, recommendations and/or proposals are not dealing with the real cause of our healthcare crisis. Indeed, the real crisis we have here is the adherence to a belief system that accepts the absurdity that continuing to fund “sick care” is the solution. Add that to the fact that almost all of the $3.5 plus trillion that went towards healthcare costs in the USA last year was spent on illness.

We need a fundamentally different approach, one that deals with the actual cause of this problem which is too much disease. I know how to do this and that is why I wrote – Restoring “Health” To Healthcare.


I believe most people assume that adopting a healthy lifestyle would be too costly. I have learned that whether that is your case or not, it is too costly (on many levels) NOT to. As a matter of fact, from a dollars and cents standpoint, it is often cheaper to live a healthy lifestyle than it is to live an unhealthy one. Here are some of the facts about the economic impact of unhealthy living habits.

Unpaid medical bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcy in the country today.

 About 70% of deaths in the USA each year are due to chronic diseases. Three of the most common ones are cardiovascular disease (which includes diseases of the heart, hypertension, stroke and peripheral vascular disease), cancer and diabetes. These diseases plus obesity, arthritis, lung and Alzheimer’s disease can undermine health, shorten life expectancy and cause enormous suffering, disability and economic costs.

In June 2004, a joint statement was issued by the American Cancer Society, The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association. Here is a quote from that statement. “Despite the incontrovertible evidence supporting the medical and economic benefits of prevention and early detection, current disease control efforts are underfunded and fragmented. While healthcare costs skyrocket, the national investment in prevention was estimated at less than 3 % of total annual healthcare expenditures”. I have put this statement in here because this was made about fourteen years ago and not much has changed in the amount of dollars spent on prevention while the incidence of these chronic diseases continues to rise at alarming rates. Chronic diseases account for at least 75% of healthcare costs which were about $3.5 trillion last year.

It is estimated that about 70% of these diseases/conditions can be prevented by early detection and modifying some of our lifestyle choices. Think of the money we could save as a nation (hundreds of billions of dollars), if a concerted effort were placed on prevention. The financial impact of the costs associated with being unhealthy can also affect you on a more personal level. They can lead to higher premiums, co-pays and more out-of-pocket expenses for treatments, tests, procedures, prescription and nonprescription medications. You may even see a reduction or loss in wages due to uncovered sick days.

There are also emotional costs to illnesses; stress and anxiety levels can increase due to concerns over ill family members and/or fear of job loss or the cancellation of insurance coverage. If we could reduce the incidence of illness, then these costs would be dramatically reduced as well.


 When you make something a priority, you will do whatever it takes to attain it. Each of us should make, being as healthy as we can be a priority in our lives. How much would you value the following?

Reducing the risk of suffering from any serious and potentially debilitating disease, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and others

Reducing the chances of developing arthritis, osteoporosis and other chronic musculoskeletal problems

Reducing the chances of suffering from colds, sore throats, and the flu

Decreasing the likelihood of becoming overweight or obese

Having more energy all day

Living a longer, more vital quality of life

Not having to miss recreational and family activities due to illness or physical problems

Missing fewer work days and lost wages as a consequence of illness

Reducing healthcare visits and saving dollars spent on co-pays and out of pocket expenses

Avoiding some painful tests, procedures and surgeries which often have healthy risks of their own

Reducing the need for prescription and nonprescription medications with their potential side effects, adverse reactions and costs

Reducing your need for hospitalizations

Having greater peace of mind and less stress (at least regarding your health)


 Your body is constantly changing and repairing itself. It actually generates and replaces ten million cells every second (white blood cells are replaced every ten days, muscles every three months and the entire liver every seven years). Therefore, if you start giving the cells of the body what they really need for optimal functioning, you should be able to improve your health and well-being. The healthier you are, the more likely your body is able to function at optimal efficiency to begin with. In addition, the better your chances should be to overcome diseases and/or recover form a traumatic injury, a surgical procedure or some other radical treatment.

Health Is Normal

The good news is that it is normal for the human body to be healthy.  The human body if taken care of properly; would most likely not get sick or breakdown that often, function as efficiently as it could and would have more energy. Though at some point it will wear out, it could last and feel better longer with some TLC.

If we:

Breathed clean, non-polluted air as much as possible

Ate three well-balanced meals and a healthy snack or two per day

Drank sufficient quantities of clean, healthy water

Had a sufficient amount of quality sleep most nights

Exercised regularly

Did not smoke cigarettes

Did not abuse alcohol or illegal drugs

Practiced good personal hygiene

Tried to get outside in the sun a few minutes, most days of the year

Stayed socially involved and mentally active

How sick do you think we would be?