Speaking about tobacco health care related costs which are estimated at $96 billion per year, that figure is dwarfed by the health care costs and productivity losses associated with just 5 diet related chronic diseases which are estimated at $864 billion per year.

  • $448 billion heart disease and stroke
  • $117 billion obesity
  • $50 billion osteoarthritis and osteoporosis
  • $75 billion cancer
  • $174 billion diabetes

The US medical "care" system is focused on treatment of disease, rather than prevention. The cost of medical care for chronic disease far exceeds the cost of following a healthy lifestyle consisting of a vegetarian plant based diet, regular exercise, and abstention from intoxicants which would significantly reduce the incidence of such diseases.

Instead of spending so much on medical care, which creates the need for very expensive public medical insurance, we should be focused on disease prevention and encouraging the living of healthy lifestyles; strangely enough I have not heard anything about this during the health care debate, all we hear about is how the so called rich people are going to be taxed to pay for the $1 trillion cost. Why isn't the debate focused on how to cut the incidence of disease so that the costs of health care won't be so much, and not only that but people will have a better quality of life at the same time.

Less cost, better health and happiness, seems like a no brainer to me. That is what the national health debate should be about.

Mark Fergusson