The Exchange is to be one where people can choose a plan that is affordable and which meets their needs.
One respected commentator, Rich Evans, has put forward the opinion that in order to provide an effective health insurance choice, they should be inclusive and reflect reality – in the sense of taking account of what methods of healthcare the people of Arizona already find effective and economic.
He feels that all too often legislators assume that all people use allopathic or western medical methods when, in fact they look for effective alternatives as they find this approach to be costly and not always effective.
He feels that traditional health professionals are skilled, very devoted to patient health and work long hours in a system that has often reached capacity. The techniques involved, whether surgical or pharmaceutical, are costly. The patient may not see the cost, but the insurers do.
He advocates that lawmakers should take a serious look at including reliable complementary or alternative approaches as these can be more cost effective and ease the demand on allopathic medicine and that there are already so many citizens in Arizona who use these kinds of health care approaches.
As around $34 billion a year is already spent across the US on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), he argues, it would be foolish to leave this out of the discussion on Arizona’s health care insurance system. He believes that including CAM will help relieve the stresses on the current system and will increase patient access to cost effective, effective treatments that will produce healthy outcomes.
One of the challenges to having good choices is how inclusive those choices are with respect to the methods of care that Arizona citizens find effective and economic. To the extent those effective methods are not part of the conversation the care offered through the exchange may be inadequate or discriminatory.
Too often the assumption with regard to health care is that all individuals use allopathic or western medical methods to find remedies to their health issues. Limiting the health conversation to those methods alone may be costly and wholly inadequate to meet the public need. Health professionals who practice those methods are skilled and usually very devoted to patient health. They work long hours in a system that has often reached capacity. The techniques involved, whether surgical or pharmaceutical, are costly. The patient may not see the cost, but the insurers do.
So, reliable complementary or alternative approaches that can reduce that cost and ease the ever-increasing demand on allopathic medical professionals are a benefit to the overall health system, including patients, providers and insurers…and, certainly, taxpayers.
In Arizona there are many citizens who utilize other methods of care for maintaining their health. Some are complementary to the more common western medical approach and some are complete alternatives. There is a spectrum of approaches and some of those have very good results in measuring outcomes. For certain, there is an online trend toward exploring and incorporating these approaches on an individual basis.
In a 2011 study done by Pew Internet & American Life Project, 80 percent of Internet users look for health information online. In addition, according to an NIH study, 40 percent of Americans spend.
In my own experience, I have found that my thoughts affect my health and that a more spiritual outlook has kept me in good health. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the single most common health complement or alternative is prayer. I can attest to that. Let’s keep the conversation broad as Arizona shapes the future regarding the health of its citizens.
— Rich Evans is the spokesman for the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Arizona.
Courtesy: The Complementary Medical Association