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  • Writer's pictureDr. J

Cost of Poor Health

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

One of the smartest Financial decisions you can make,
is investing in your Health

-Dr. Justin Lee D.C

"Eating healthy is too expensive."

"I don't feel like paying for a gym membership."

"I just can't help myself... I NEED my Netflix (binges) at night!!

"Maybe I'll start chiropractic care in a few months"

"I'd love to get a bike, but, I need to update my spring clothes first"

Have you ever considered the cost of NOT doing these things?

Typically, most good things in life take some investing; typically with time, money, focus and energy. By neglecting our health and trying to spare a few minutes or dollars on the front end... we set ourselves up for sub-optimal health. And in this gray area... we leave ourselves vulnerable for all sorts of chronic issues that can be annoying, debilitating, and/or fatal.

There's no secret that the United States is notoriously known for having one of the sickest populations on the planet. In school, on the news, and other areas we're typically exposed to the poor, under-developed areas of the world with starving children. Which, includes nearly 2 billion people on this planet and is an utter travesty in a world where resolution is a certain possibility. But for the first time in history (which doesn't draw the attention it deserves) this number is being surpassed by overweight/obese individuals.

Simply put; not good.


Yes, cutting corners on the front-end is easy to do, and can be legitimized pretty easily. But what does that cost on the back-end?

Well, let's look at the numbers.

Economic & Business

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, the cost of lost productivity in the workplace from chronic illness every year in the U.S. ($1T) is enough to employ every person at $50k a year who is currently unemployed.

CDC: Loss of productivity cost:: $225.8 Billion. $1,685/employee

Integrated Benefits Institute

For 147 million workers in 2019

-Total wages and benefits at $11.5 trillion

-66K employers

-Poor Health Costs US Employers $575 Billion and 1.5 Billion Work Daysof Absence and Impaired Performance

–Mostly due to sickness and ‘impaired performance’

–$3.9K per employee

Health care costs are the #1 attributor to bankruptcy in those over 60.

Out of 100 Employees

•74 overweight (58 in 1994)

•36 obese 

•12 diabetic (3 unaware– probably more) 

•Age at 1.5 years per one year... Yes, to mention the exponentially sharp decline inyou're losing an additional 1/2 year for every year of life.  Not life quality.

•33 with hypertension

•17 with high cholesterol 

•33 with high triglycerides 

•19 smoke

•80-95 fail to get enough exercise 

•62 with sleep issues 

•77 struggle with stress- 9 with depression issues

•83 will develop heart disease or cancer

Neglecting our health has costly side effects; financially, and more importantly, on our overall life.

Think about it; when do people tend to care most about their health?

When they lose it.

Which is a tough time to try and get it back.

For the most part, this isn't your fault:

The poor lifestyle choices that get us to the point of losing our health is built into the fabrics of society; poor nutrition, lack of movement, high stress, constant bombardment of toxic chemicals, etc.

The best for of health insurance?

Take your health into your own hands. I've helped countless people reclaim their health, allowing them to get off crippling medications, reverse 'chronic' conditions, and completely turn their life around. Not everyone goes through a 'miracle' transformation, as not needing a miracle transformation is the best place to be. Prevent catastrophic things from happening, and you'll be in a much better place. Not to mention, you'll just feel better and function better on a daily basis- living out the life you want to live.

If you don't invest in your health now...
You'll pay for it down the road.


And it isn't just a problem with adults...

A potentially more tragic story is the number of children that are chronically ill.

<The Story of our Children>

According to a study done in 2011 (also sad there hasn't been an updated study...) in the journal Academic Pediatrics;

54% of Children have one or more chronic health conditions

What does that look like?

*Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates have tripled in the U.S., and today, the country has some of the highest obesity rates in the world: one out of six children is obese, and one out of three children is overweight or obese.

*Asthma: At least 1 in 8 children, and approximately 1 in 6 African American children⠀

* Allergic Eczema: 1 in 5 children⠀

* Hay Fever (seasonal allergies): 2 to 3 out of every 5 children⠀

* Food Allergies: 1 in 12 children has a “true” food allergy (IgE mediated). It is estimated that 1 in 3 children (or more) has food intolerances (are sensitive to particular foods) and 1 in 17 children has a life-threatening food allergy. Nearly 2.5% of U.S. children may have an allergy to peanuts.⠀

* Celiac Disease: 1 in 80 children⠀

* Obesity/Overweight: 1 in 5 children⠀

Millions of American children struggle with what were once termed “psychiatric” disorders: mood disorders, neurobehavioral disorders, developmental delays and learning disabilities:⠀

* Mental health disorder: 1 in 6 children⠀

* Autism: 1 in 36 children⠀

* ADHD: Almost 1 in 10 children⠀

* Deveopmental or behavioral disorder: 16-18%⠀

* Learning disability: 1 in 6 children⠀

* Severe mood dysregulation (e.g., bipolar disorder): 1 in 30 children⠀

* Dyspraxia (impaired coordination and motor skills): 1 in 10 children⠀

* Pediatric depression or anxiety: 1 in 20 children⠀

* Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: 1 in 100 children⠀

*1994: 10% of kids overweight

**2015: 32+%

* Avg time a child spends outdoors? 4 min.

*25% of schools eliminated recess

"For every child diagnosed with a chronic illness, there are many more undiagnosed children. There are millions of children with undiagnosed chronic illness.⠀

Many American children are not diagnosed with a particular disease or disorder, but they still show signs of being chronically ill.⠀

What is happening to our children?"

-DC Freedom Keepers

This is a TRUE epidemic.. that's turning pandemic with astonishing speed.

It's time to take action:

For ourselves.

Our Kids.

We all deserve better.

Vote with your actions, and it'll pay off 10-fold in all areas of life.


Do you want to accumulate wealth?

Enjoy your retirement in comfort, or leave money for your kids?

If so, stay healthy.

Your health is the number one investment of your lifetime, don’t let it get away.

What is the most expensive illness to have per case, PER YEAR per Individual?

Chronic Pain: $6,000 Cancer: $6,199 Diabetes: $8,166 Heart Disease: $12,030 Depression: $14,189 Alzheimer's: $42,641 Big Bad Bug per case: $17,000 (not year over year)

And these numbers don't consider the personal expenses and efforts one invests in or has to make along the way.

Considering current numbers and calculating trends, the largest spend right now is chronic pain, diabetes, and pre-diabetes (not calculated here) will affect the most people in time, but considering how one issue promotes the other the illness is most likely to bankrupt the system is Alzheimer's.

Granted, rarely do any one of these issues occur by itself.

Weight issues and obesity are not up there either, so many overlapping expenses, I wanted to keep the concept clean. Per Year Totals in escalating order:

Chronic Pain: $600,000,000,000 (JAMA) (14% of population) Alzheimer's: $440,000,000,000 (CDC) (16% population) Diabetes: $327,000,000,000 (CDC) (10% of population) Heart Disease: $214,000,000,000 (CDC) (<10% of population) Depression: $210,000,000,000 (AJMC) (<4$ of population) Cancer: $174,000,000,000 (CDC) (<3% of population) Obesity: $147,000,000,000 (CDC) (>42% of population) Big Bad Bug: $60-180,000,000,000,000 (Health Insurers) (>33% of population currently not year over year like the others)

Grand total: $2,232,000,000,000.00 (Yes, that is just over 2 trillion dollars)

Total medical costs in the U.S. per year = 3.7 Trillion Dollars

According to the CDC 2017 is $10,739 per man, woman, and child in the US per year, $300,000,000,000 (billion) alone on medications, which is $892 per American per year alone.

PER YEAR AND GROWING EACH YEAR!!!! The majority of the cases in all of these illnesses are preventable. I can't say all, but the vast majority across the board are driven by environmental triggers, diet, and lifestyle, or at least exacerbated by it.

All chronic illnesses and conditions follow the same pattern and process even when they affect different organs, systems, and parts of the body.

Today's drastic oversimplification: There are only two states of the body, well or ill, healthy or sick.

When you are sick, what breaks down first and fastest and what condition you first see depends on you, your lifestyle, diet, environment, and genetic susceptibility combined.

Medical expenses are the #1 cause of bankruptcy --- 75% of whom had insurance.

References and Resources

U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective, 2019: Higher Spending, Worse Outcomes?

  • "The U.S. spends more on health care as a share of the economy — nearly twice as much as the average OECD country — yet has the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rates among the 11 nations.

  • The U.S. has the highest chronic disease burden and an obesity rate that is two times higher than the OECD average.

  • Americans had fewer physician visits than peers in most countries, which may be related to a low supply of physicians in the U.S.

  • Americans use some expensive technologies, such as MRIs, and specialized procedures, such as hip replacements, more often than our peers.

  • The U.S. outperforms its peers in terms of preventive measures — it has the one of the highest rates of breast cancer screening among women ages 50 to 69 and the second-highest rate (after the U.K.) of flu vaccinations among people age 65 and older.

  • Compared to peer nations, the U.S. has among the highest number of hospitalizations from preventable causes and the highest rate of avoidable deaths."

"In 2018, the U.S. spent 16.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health care, nearly twice as much as the average OECD country. The second-highest ranking country, Switzerland, spent 12.2 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, New Zealand and Australia devote only 9.3 percent, approximately half as much as the U.S. does. "

"Per capita health spending in the U.S. exceeded $10,000, more than two times higher than in Australia, France, Canada, New Zealand, and the U.K. Public spending, including governmental spending, social health insurance, and compulsory private insurance, is comparable in the U.S. and many of the other nations and constitutes the largest source of health care spending.

In the U.S., per-capita spending from private sources, for instance, voluntary spending on private health insurance premiums, including employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, is higher than in any of the countries compared here. At $4,092 per capita, U.S. private spending is more than five times higher than Canada, the second-highest spender. In Sweden and Norway, private spending made up less than $100 per capita. As a share of total spending, private spending is much larger in the U.S. (40%) than in any other country (0.3%–15%).

The average U.S. resident paid $1,122 out-of-pocket for health care, which includes expenses like copayments for doctor’s visits and prescription drugs or health insurance deductibles. Only the Swiss pay more; residents of France and New Zealand pay less than half of what Americans spend."

"More than one-quarter of U.S. adults report they have ever been diagnosed with two or more chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension during their lifetime compared to 22 percent or less in all other countries. This rate is twice as high as in the Netherlands and the U.K."

Highest rates of preventable hospitalizations

Hospitalizations for diabetes and hypertension — which are considered ambulatory care–sensitive conditions, meaning they are considered preventable with access to better primary care9 — were approximately 50 percent higher in the U.S. than the OECD average. Only Germany had higher rates for both conditions. The U.S. rate of hypertension-related hospitalizations was more than eightfold higher than the best-performing countries, the Netherlands, the U.K., and Canada. For diabetes hospitalizations, the U.S. rate (204/100,000) was more than threefold higher than the Netherlands, the best-performing country.

Highest rates of preventable deaths

Premature deaths from conditions that are considered preventable with timely access to effective and quality health care,10 including diabetes, hypertensive diseases, and certain cancers, are termed “mortality amenable to health care.” This indicator is used by several countries to measure health system performance.11The U.S. has the highest rates of amenable mortality among the 11 countries with 112 deaths for every 100,000. It is notable that the amenable mortality rate has dropped considerably since 2000 for every country in our analysis, though less proportionately in the U.S. The U.S. rate was two times higher than in Switzerland, France, Norway, and Australia. This poor performance suggests the U.S. has worse access to primary care, prevention, and chronic disease management compared to peer nations.

Interesting Statistics about the U.S. Health Care System

America ranks 42nd among countries for life expectancy at birth.

  • America’s infant mortality rate is higher than 47 other countries, according to the U.S. CIA World Fact Book, including many much less developed countries and many countries with government-run health care systems.

  • The United States is ranked #1 in the world for “responsiveness to the needs and choices of the individual patient” (World Health Organization)

  • The United States leads the world in new medical innovations.

  • A 2009 study shows American scientists won the Nobel Prize in 33 out of the previous 40 years, whereas scientists from the entire rest of the world won it in only 25 out of those 40 years (often it was shared between Americans and non-Americans). Additionally, of the top 27 drugs and devices, U.S. physicians, companies, and scientists had a hand in developing 20 of them, whereas European physicians, companies and scientists only had a hand in 14. (Cato Institute)

Healthcare Facts and Statistics Following COVID-19

  • Receiving care for a heart attack will cost you an average of $20,246.

  • The US could save $175 billion in healthcare costs by halving administrative expenses.

  • Employers cover 82% of healthcare costs.

  • Annually, 300,000 premature deaths in the US can be attributed to obesity.

  • Out of all bankruptcies, 62.1% are caused by high medical bills.

  • Healthcare statistics for 2020 disclose that an average couple aged 65 and over needs around $295,000 saved for medical expenses during retirement.

  • 61% of Americans don't think we have the best health care system. To demonstrate, when asked about their opinion on the American healthcare system vs. other countries, only 21% of Americans believe that they have access to the best healthcare in the world. Another 18% are undecided, and the rest believe that the United States does not offer the best healthcare.

  • As we have already mentioned, obesity is on the rise in the United States, affecting 19% of children and 42% of adults. Though it may seem unlikely, American healthcare statistics prove that addressing health issues linked to obesity costs $147 billion a year, which reveals that obesity is a common and costly disease

  • Healthcare statistics for 2020 disclose that an average couple aged 65 and over needs around $295,000 saved for medical expenses during retirement.

  • In 2020, the US healthcare industry generated $2,612.0 billion in revenue. As for the global healthcare industry, it was worth $8.45 trillion in 2018. There is a high likelihood that the upward trend will continue, with global healthcare spending reaching $10 trillion by 2022.

A dozen facts about the economics of the US health-care system

Five percent of Americans accounted for half of all U.S. health-care spending in 2017.


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