President Obama and the Future of Natural and Holistic Health Care

Preventative Health Care: America's New Direction

Naturopathic doctors and holistic healing professionals across the country are excited and hopeful about the new President's plan to change the health care system. President Obama's proposed health care reform plan, explained in detail on BarackObama.com, highlights health education and preventative medicine as two important strategies for reducing out of control health care costs in the United States. Naturopathic physicians, Chinese medicine doctors, holistic healers and other healthcare professionals expect the government to begin programs that encourage healthier lifestyles and increased awareness of nutrition, supplements, preventative screenings and more.

Natural Health Care News Watch

Since the fall of 2008, naturopathic doctors and alternative medicine practitioners have been carefully watching and critically analyzing President Obama's comments, proposals and presentation of health care reform ideas. On September 26, 2008 writer Neil Osterweil reported on the presidential candidates and their healthcare reform plans for the Medscape Medical News. Osterweil discussed McCain and Obama's plans to present their strategies for healthcare reform to the New England Journal of Medicine for evaluation. Obama's plan proposed a more public solution that included both public and private participation. According to Osterweil's article, one of the three main goals outlined in the plan was an "emphasis on disease prevention and health maintenance."

A September 16, 2008 article in the Wall Street Journal titled "Why Obama's Health Plan Is Better" also outlined the details of the Obama administration's health care reform plan. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Sen. Obama's proposal will modernize our current system of employer- and government-provided health care, keeping what works well, and making the investments now that will lead to a more efficient medical system. He does this in five ways: Learning, Rewarding, Pooling Preventing and Covering." Pooling and Covering are related mainly to a much needed reduction in health care costs. Learning, Rewarding and Preventing all have the potential to increase mainstream awareness of natural medicine and healthy living principles.

The Wall Street Journal explains that through Learning, Rewarding and Preventing Obama's health care reform plan addresses multiple issues. "One third of medical costs go for services at best ineffective and at worst harmful," states the Wall Street Journal. "Doctors and hospitals today are paid for performing procedures, not for helping patients." "In today's health-care market, less than one dollar in 25 goes for prevention, even though preventive services -- regular screenings and healthy lifestyle information -- are among the most cost-effective medical services around," the article continues. "Guaranteeing access to preventive services will improve health and in many cases save money."

The Future of Holistic Medicine and Alternative Health Care

In order for holistic health care practitioners like naturopathic healers, acupuncturists, Chinese herbalists and homeopathic doctors to solidify their role in keeping Americans healthy they must get involved. President Obama's plan will hopefully bring both traditional and holistic health care providers together to build a health care system that values prevention over the treatment of disease, makes health education a top priority and focuses on achieving the highest level of patient care. This ensures great change and healthier Americans in the future.

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