I once heard a comedian say, “I’m sooo upset! My muffler just fell off my car and now I have to go buy a louder stereo.” The joke makes a point that can be well applied to American health care. We spend the majority of our resources trying to mask (ignore) symptoms instead of fixing the underlying problem.
The issues arising from the misdirected focus of treating symptoms is best illustrated when it comes to back pain. The standard medical approach consists of pain medication