If anybody has been looking at the news or the headlines for the last few days, they’d have to be seriously not paying attention if they missed the debate over health care & insurance in America. We knew this was going to happen sooner rather than later.
1.) Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, rolled out national socialized-style health-care while First Lady
2.) Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts and leading contender for the Republican nomination, instituted a massive requirement for all in his state to have insurance coverage
3.) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, is rolling out a universal healthcare system here in the Golden State
4.) President George W. Bush has admitted that he’d like to see some sort of universal coverage before he leaves office.
I think its abundantly clear that we have a healthcare crisis in this country. The care available is not the problem. The United States has the most treatments available…the best care (for those who can afford it), and leads in the cutting edge research that will help alleviate pain and suffering across the globe.
That said, the bureaucratic nightmare that exists in America is due to many causes, not just because of the insurance industry, trial attorneys, malpractice suits and people just not paying attention to their health.
At some point, I’d like to turn this thread into more of a good discussion about what we, as informed and concerned citizens, can do to help change healthcare in America.
I’m a healthy 26 year old (ack…my 27th is in 2 weeks!). I don’t smoke, drink in excess, or engage in unhealthy or carelessly risky behavior. I’ve got a slight hereditary risk for diabetes and obesity. So I eat well (organically if I can, cook most of my meals, never have fast food, overly processed food, etc), and I am dedicated to ensuring that I get in enough exercise (weight lifting 3x a week, cardio 5x a week, seasonal sports).
I take a personal responsibility for my health. I have my own insurance coverage since I have my own consulting practice. Yeah…it blows having to pay a high premium every month. But you know what folks? It’s still less than my cell phone bill is every month. I go to the dentist and eye doctor 2x a year, which I pay for, and do one routine physical a year. Because I’m a young man (and gay), I also do regular HIV & STD tests. Does this all cost me money? Of course! But it’s my damn health. It’s NOT the responsibility for the government to ensure I’m healthy. And it’s NOT the responsibility of the government to take care of me either. I make good choices and decisions that benefit my life.
So you know what really pisses me off?
-When someone who has been smoking their whole life suddenly develops lung cancer and expects Medicare to pay for the treatment and operation.
-When someone who has destroyed their body with overeating and making bad nutritional choices their whole life decides to sue Coca-Cola, Inc for putting too much sugar in their drinks.
– Or develops knee problems because they’re grossly overweight and has to get knee replacement surgery (that the insurance company now has to pay for, aka: all OUR premiums go up to pay for).
-Or for that person who has been eating fried food their whole life, and suddenly one day passes out or something and had to be rushed to the ER for open heart surgery to open up a clogged artery or whatnot…probably costing upwards of $100,000, that now the County might have to pay for.
This is it folks – and this is why I am a Republican. Take personal responsibility for yourself. For your health. For your family. For your money. For your freedoms and rights. The government should be there to ensure that we have access to these services for us to better ourselves on. That our drugs are tested. That our food is safe (well, they already screwed that one up with one of the litany of China problems).
There will always be exceptions in the system…and that’s why we have a safety net. But the government should be encouraging the people to make good decisions for their lifestyle – not mandating their lifestyle choices. And people need to be held accountable for their choices. Instead of creating a “nanny” state, let’s empower individuals to make these health decisions for themselves! It’s my responsibility – not my employer’s responsibility, nor my government’s responsibility. The money we save on reducing the frivolity in this system, the more we can spend on new treatments and cures.