Eric wrote a great article today and I thought you all would enjoy reading it 🙂
According to a recent report from the Kaiser foundation, the number of Americans lacking health care has now swelled beyond 50 million, or roughly the population of Spain. Approximately one out of every six people living in America today, one of the wealthiest nations on earth, cannot realistically afford medical treatment if and when needed. This statistic was part of a recent Huffington Post article that explored some inefficiencies and redundancies of our current health care insurance “system”. After reading through many of the comments from readers at the end of the article I became frustrated at how few of us understand the big picture of what is going on in our country in regards to “health care”.
The US healthcare system does not work, and cannot work for most Americans. It is a grossly overpriced, inefficient, and ineffective system that, in conjunction with the big insurance companies, big food, big Pharma (and propelled by big media) thrives on people being sick. And as long as we all buy into the false wisdom put forth by these mega-corporations, we will remain an unhealthy nation. We have been burdened with an epidemic of obesity (by 2015, 75% of adults will be be overweight, 41% will be obese), and largely preventable chronic diseases, which have now passed smoking as the number one cause of avoidable death in our country. One recent report by the Milken Institute “An Unhealthy America: The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease” estimating this annual cost to our economy to be more than $1 trillion, likely reaching $6 trillion annually by 2020 (a sick population, while costly to you and me, is highly profitable to these corporations). We eat toxic food, live sedentary lifestyles, and treat illnesses with drugs that often make us sicker. This dynamic is at the heart of our “healthcare” system, and, sadly, this is simply not understood by most Americans.
My wife and I are self-employed and cannot afford health insurance, we go without as it is not even an option for us. To avoid the costly expense of doctors, hospitals, and prescription drugs, we work hard to live a healthy lifestyle. This requires learning about nutrition, preparing healthy foods, exercising regularly and staying physically active – this is our approach to healthcare and we call it “Do It The Hard Way”. We are “caring for our health” by investing in it constantly. While this approach does not make us immune to all potential health problems, it does reduce the likelihood of many of them, and prevention is the best approach in my book.
There are certainly many people with life-threatening illnesses that could not survive for long without their health care. It is these people, along with those injured in car accidents, by gunshots, etc. that the healthcare system should exist to serve. But for the rest of us, there are choices we can make every day that will improve our own health, and the health of our children. Don’t let type II diabetes render you or a loved one dependent on insulin and doctors for the rest of your life, for most, this disease can be eliminated by eating the right foods and weight loss. Don’t treat high blood pressure with drugs, treat it with good food and a jog at the park. These kinds of solutions are much less costly, and you can do them yourself. I recently read an insightful article “Being healthy is a revolutionary act” by Pilar Gerasimo that helps define more broadly what we are all up against.
So while the rest of us are waiting for the “sick care” system to improve, why not take health into your own hands and become our own personal “healthcare” providers, providing good health to ourselves and our families through healthy lifestyles. As most of us no longer have a choice in the matter, we’d be foolish not to.
“Decide, Commit, Succeed!”