Let’s Get Fiscal About the Cost of Health Care
Burton Goldberg
Alternative Medicine Digest (

The bottom line on the conventional medicine venture is bankruptcy. If I were Uncle Sam, I’d be tearing my hair out over this incredible failure of American medicine to be cost efficient and I would be cancelling the unlimited expense budget of organized medicine today. There are effective alternatives. Get results, or get out!

As a lifelong businessman, when I think about that $1 trillion, I have to ask: “are we getting our money’s worth? Does all this make fiscal sense?” The sad fact is that it doesn’t make sense at all. This isn’t health care-it’s sickness care. Conventional medicine keeps coming up with new drugs and high tech procedures, yet none of this heals or cures disease. At best, it deals with symptoms, and, too often, it either suppresses symptoms or makes a person unwell from the “side-effects.”

Take cancer research. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) spends about $2 billion of American taxpayer’s money every year to look for “cures,” as long as they don’t come from alternative medicine, even though all the breakthrough discoveries in healing chronic diseases are coming from this source. Think about it: The NCI has a $2 billion a year expense account; but, after 40 years, mainstream cancer researchers are no closer to a cancer cure than NASA is to colonizing the Moon. Or take what we spend our research dollars on. Out of $12 billion allocated every year by Congress to the National Institutes of Health, only spare change-about $5.4 million-goes to the Office of Alternative Medicine to look into the claims of some 50 therapies. Meanwhile, almost everybody knows by now that about one-third of Americans visit an alternative physician at least once a year and spend nearly $12 billion of their own money, not insurance company reimbursements, doing it.

As a businessman, I want to see the bottom line before I spend more money on a venture. The bottom line on the conventional medicine venture is bankruptcy. If I were Uncle Sam, I’d be tearing my hair out over this incredible failure of American medicine to be cost efficient and I would be cancelling the unlimited expense budget of organized medicine today. There are effective alternatives. Get results, or get out! It’s about time we ran our national health care as a real business. And how about the insurance companies? By and large, it’s the insurance companies that shell out most of the $1 trillion dollars. Surely, if they sat down and studied the statistics, the outcome costs, the side-effects cost, the iatrogenic costs (the cost of patients being injured by the medical treatment or hospital itself), they would scratch their heads and ask if there weren’t a less expensive way to go. How much of conventional medicine do you suppose would still have a financial leg to stand on after this kind of rigorous financial review?

Insurance companies will find that cost-effective way if they look at the costs and outcomes from alternative medicine. They could actually make more money by backing alternative medicine than by putting all their chips behind the high tech gamblers of conventional medicine. Why gamble with the unproven and toxic when you can depend on the affordable alternative? Showing people the value of alternatives, as you know, is what my work as publisher of is all about. I know I’m not alone in experiencing this daily outrage at the cost of medical care in America. Saving money on medical costs is on the minds of many Americans and, for that goal, prevention is the way to go. Research shows that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For every $1 we spend on prevention today, we’ll save $30 on treatment tomorrow. Heart disease, for example, is one of the most preventable chronic degenerative diseases, yet we’re still spending $9 billion for 300,000 coronary artery bypass graft surgeries every year.

In a previous issue (Digest No. 6), one of our physicians explained that chelation therapy, if used as a preventive measure for heart disease, could save us an estimated $8 billion a year in health care costs. Is anybody taking this advice? No. Instead, the California medical authorities are doing their best to get chelation therapy outlawed and to arrest and harass respectable M.D.s merely for practicing chelation.

Also, in the last Digest you read the amazing story of Cheryl Wilkens who used the metabolic nutritional program of Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D., to successfully treat her metastasized lymph cancer at a cost of about $4000. She is cancer-free today-for $4000. In this Digest, you’ll read the equally amazing-and almost tragic-case of Debi Erin, R.N. For 10 years, she was the victim of a mental health establishment that still doesn’t have a clue how to treat schizophrenia. When Erin finally found her “clue,” it was from a doctor of alternative medicine who prescribed a $20 bottle of essential fatty acids and she was cured. Today, Erin is schizophrenia-free, for pennies. In this issue, you’ll also read about Mary, a woman who eliminated 8 years of back pain, intestinal discomfort, headaches, and hypoglycemia, with $700 worth of chiropractic treatment.

Also, in this Digest you’ll read about Jay Holder who is both an M.D. and chiropractor. Dr. Holder’s bold new approach to treating addictions is to use chiropractic and amino acids. At a cost of about $870 per client per year, Holder’s chiropractic approach is getting astonishingly high recovery rates-100% of addicted patients receiving chiropractic finish their 30-day treatment program. This is a key indicator of whether they’ll stay drug-free in the future. Who can argue that this is money well spent-and it’s not that much money in the first place! The field of alternative medicine is full of stories like these, of patients who suffered the unnecessary pain and extravagant expense of conventional medicine only to find a lower-cost, safer, and more effective treatment from alternative medicine. Don’t you think this is where we should be spending our tax dollars, investigating and supporting these life-saving alternatives?

A new poll of San Francisco Bay area residents showed that 41% consulted an alternative medicine doctor last year and that 80% said they’d do it again. What’s the solution? Let’s get fiscal about the cost of health care and support all the safer, cheaper, more effective alternatives and pocket the difference. As Dr. Guylaine Lanct, M.D., says in The Medical Mafia (reviewed in this issue), the patients-that great, powerful, but too silent majority of about 256 million Americans-hold the purse-strings on the $1 trillion health care budget. “The only one who has the ultimate power to change the system is the patient,” says Dr. Lanct?? One practical way to exercise your patient-power is to keep informed of legislative events and to urge your elected officials to allow alternative doctors to practice openly, without harassment. Meanwhile, the Digest will keep you up-to-date on everything you need to know about the most cost-effective alternatives in medicine. That way we can all show some fiscal care for our health.

Back to Top

Back to Health Directory