A recent widespread interest in plant-based eating has raised alarms within the medical industry. As noted by Dr. Greedie at a recent medical conference, "If too many people take up this way of eating, it could eliminate as much as 80% of our business ." Dr. Greedie's statement is based on a recent study of the literature that was completed by the World Institute of Statistical Enigmas (WISE).
In that study, WISE found that almost all heart disease can be prevented simply by eating plant foods and eliminating oils. WISE also discovered that many studies have even found a link between what we eat and certain cancers. Some researchers have even suggested that we may not know all the ways that cancers are negatively affected by eating plants. And Type II diabetes, obesity and many other western diseases can also be eliminated in total.
Such knowledge, if it were to get out to the general population, could have devastating effects on the medical industry. Dr. Justin Entern remarks about the high debt he has to repay from his medical school expenses. "How can I be expected to ever pay those educational expenses back," he asks, "if the general public doesn't get sick anymore?"
But it's not just a problem for recent graduates and interns. Many older doctors have become accustomed to a certain standard of living. And while they have good skills honed through years of practice, most employers don't have a need for a surgeon or an oncologist in the manufacture of their widgets.
One suggestion made by Mo Rice is to employ surgeons in some of the new veggie restaurants opening up around the nation. "Surgeons are very good with knives," he states, "and they can make very precise cuts." As Rice goes on to explain, "That makes surgeons the perfect candidates for slicing and dicing vegetables." But some surgeons worry about not being paid comparable to what they were making before. If the doctors win that one, then it could be devastating for the cost of a meal at these vegetarian restaurants. As one restaurant manager said, who did not want to be named because she wasn't authorized to speak for her chain, "A meal that costs $10 now could end up costing $1,000 or more if we have to pay doctors what they're used to making."
One suggestion of course would be to have health care insurance plans cover the costs of veggie meals. That way, people would still pay more than $10 for their meal, due to the $20 copay most plans have, but the insurance could pay the rest. That would allow doctors to continue to maintain their standard of living. One problem with that approach that was uncovered by I.M. Sosmart is that insurance premiums would need to rise significantly to cover that. Others, however, argue that because of the need for less medical care, insurance premiums could still be maintained at their current rate coupled with the normal 20% annual increase that's announced each year.
There is a movement afoot to curb this issue by placing regulations on the number of plant-based foods the American public is permitted to eat each day. Doing so would help to ensure that the average person never gets enough to avoid being sick. And in that way, the medical industry can continue to thrive. "Sometimes, you just have to be counter-intuitive about things," remarks Dr. Greedie.