The United States spent $2.9 trillion on health care in 2013, or about $9,255 per person, according to a new detailed accounting of the nation’s health care dollars. The 2013 totals represent just 3.6 percent growth in national health spending from 2012 — the lowest annual growth rate since 1960, according to a federal report published in the policy journal Health Affairs.
It also marks the fifth straight year of low health spending growth, and it shows a slowdown from the 4.1 percent growth rate in 2012. And for the fifth straight year, health care spending as a share of the economy held steady at 17.4 percent.
That is a very nice chunk of change. What can be done about it? Well we have some very expensive diseases that get mandated government care. Let us start with Alzheimer’s Disease. What is Alzheimer’s costing us?
During 2015, $226 billion was spent directly for AD care giving and medical expenses, of which well over half was covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are worsening epidemics, and the pharmaceutical industry has not provided real hope. One has to go outside of mainstream medicine’s pharmacopoeia to slow or reverse dementia and Alzheimer’s or other neurodegenerative diseases such as MS and Parkinson’s.
We have a research report on the effect of cannabis on Alzheimer.
New research published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease finds that administering cannabis extracts containing THC to Alzheimer’s patients helped relieve various symptoms of dementia, including agitation, aggression, apathy and delusions.
The small trial conducted by Israeli researchers studied 11 Alzheimer’s patients who were given medical cannabis oil containing THC over the course of four weeks. Of the 10 patients that completed the trial, researchers recorded “significant reduction” in behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.
Researchers concluded that “adding medical cannabis oil to Alzheimer’s disease patients’ pharmacotherapy is a safe and promising treatment option.”
Well. That is one disease. How about diabetes? First the cost.
The total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 is $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity.
That is a nice chunk of change. What can cannabis do about it?
A provocative new analysis of data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) indicates marijuana users had 66% lower odds of having diabetes after adjustment for numerous potential confounding factors, Dr. Magda Shaheen reported at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.
What about treatment for diabetes?
In 2015, Israeli researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem released a study showing that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in cannabis, could effectively be used to treat different illnesses including type 2 diabetes.
There’s also compelling scientific evidence that cannabis can aid in treating diabetes complications, for example eye disease; cannabis reduces the intraocular pressure (fluid pressure in the eye) considerably in people with glaucoma, which is caused by conditions that severely restrict blood flow to the eye, like diabetic retinopathy.
Amy (the author of the piece and an internet friend of mine from 2005) also had this to say:
Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment…
There is a component of the cannabis plant (more in some strains than others) that may be especially helpful, Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).
THCV and THC both possess pain relieving properties, but they differ in one very big way. Whereas THC induces appetite, THCV suppresses appetite. THCV also increases energy. That’s very significant when one considers how many health problems are directly tied to diabetes and obesity, which THCV can help combat. THCV has the potential to save our healthcare system, and I don’t think that’s too bold of a statement.
Let’s do one more, Cancer.
The Agency for Healthcare research and Quality (AHRQ) estimates that the direct medical costs (total of all health care costs) for cancer in the US in 2011 were $88.7 billion.
- 50% of this cost is for hospital outpatient or doctor office visits
- 35% of this cost is for inpatient hospital stays
- 11% of this cost is for prescription drugs
Dennis Hill, a biochemist who treated his own cancer with cannabis, explains how cannabis worked on his cancer.
Three years ago, after a prostate biopsy, I was given the diagnosis of aggressive Stage III adenocarcinoma. I didn’t know what to do. The urologist made appointments for me to start radiation, and maybe chemo. Then a friend told me cannabis cures cancer. It just so happened that the first human trials of cannabis treatment of astrocytomas (inoperable brain cancer), were published with encouraging results. So I decided; rather than die from the medical treatment, I would do the cannabis cure. Now… where to get some. There was no dispensary in the area, but a friend made me cannabis butter, so I took that, up to tolerance. In three months the primary cancer was gone, only minor metastatic lesions were left. At that point I found a supplier for Rick Simpson oil and killed off the metastases in the next three months. Now I just take a maintenance dose of locally produced hash oil that is 1:1 THC:CBD with about a 30% potency. This will certainly keep me clear of cancer, anywhere, for ever.
My point in telling this story is the fact that in the face of advanced aggressive cancer, all I had was very weak cannabutter, but it was enough to eliminate the primary tumor.
Would this work for everyone? For most people? Just a few? We have no idea because very little research is being done on humans compared to the need. And why is that? Because cannabis is a schedule 1 substance. In theory it has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Nonsense on stilts.
In any case Dennis goes deeper into the biochemisty at the Inflammatory Cytokine Cascade. He also notes some of the possible other medical uses.
The first cannabinoid discovered (THC) was found by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, in 1964. Dr. Mechoulam has been tireless since then in researching its medical uses. But in the US – with possibly the biggest medical research industry in the world, research in petri dishes and animals is voluminous. But research on humans is restricted because of our Federal Prohibition Laws.
And one other thing. There is something called the entourage effect.
Unlike other drugs that may work well as single compounds, synthesized in a lab, cannabis may offer its most profound benefit as a whole plant, if we let the entourage effect flower, as Mechoulam suggested more than a decade ago.
Our current law, the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), allows the President to change the schedule of cannabis by his own order. The stroke of a pen. And it would be totally legal. I should add that any changes in state law should include the option of growing your own – to keep costs from escalating through pure greed – and that would include government greed. Let competition determine the price. Not the government.
Now after reading all that do you think Mr. Trump might know something about how to get the US economy back on track? And who stands in the way? Big Pharma is the biggest supporter of “Drug Free America”. They have only your best interests at heart. Just ask their accountants.