As the Republican and Democratic national conventions are approaching, the debate on how to address soaring Medicare costs is heating up. But there is much more heat than light, and our country seems more polarized than ever.

Health care costs (really, sick care costs) are now reaching a tipping point. Many Republicans are recommending that Medicare be privatized or even abolished since Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program accounted for 21 percent of the Federal budget in 2011, or $769 billion. Many Democrats are advocating raising taxes and letting the deficit increase. Not much common ground when the issues are framed in this way.

Here’s a third alternative: address the underlying causes of illness. These causes are primarily the lifestyle choices we make each day: what we eat, how we respond to stress, whether or not we smoke, how much we exercise, and how much love, intimacy and social support we have in our lives.

This is a radical approach — “radical” comes from the Latin word meaning “root.” When we address these root causes of our health and well-being, we find that our bodies often have a remarkable capacity to begin healing themselves and much more quickly than had once been thought possible. We can make much better health care available for many more people at far lower costs when we treat the causes rather than the symptoms…

Thanks to Jawara for the above link.

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