Friday, February 17, 2012

Health Care

Have you noticed that about a third of the presidential candidates discussions are on health care?  Problem is, they are not talking about health care, they are talking about the costly part - the cost of taking care of those of us who are sick.  Hmmm - so, sick care?  Doesn’t sound very good, but hopefully you get my point, and won’t object too much if I use the term "sick care" to contrast with health care.

Health care - that is what I did this afternoon for two and a half hours.  I worked out.  Let’s see - working out - reduces risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetics, joint problems, well, hopefully you get the point, working out is the best thing you can do for your health.  As in health care.

And then there was the food I ate today.  No meat (reduces risk of cancer), minimal refined carbohydrates (reduces risk of obesity and diabetes), lots of veggies, an apple, a pear, 3 bananas, and lots and lots of water.  No sodas, no caffeine, just lots of plain water.

Obviously no smoking, chewing, injecting, or inhaling of stuff we should not be smoking, chewing, injecting or inhaling.  These are all things that result in sick care, or, ultimately shortened lives.

As I follow the media discussions on the cost of caring for the sick, the thing that stands out is that we are not going to be able to sustain the current escalation in costs.  I am already reading that it is a lot easier to get into med school today than even ten years ago - young folk are realizing that a doctors degree may not have the same rewards in a future where medical care is no longer provided no matter the cost.  In fact, now it is getting pretty tough to get into programs like physician assistants and nurse practitioners, because it is likely in the future there will be more demand for the lower cost expertise these programs offer.

Bottom line - I work out for a variety of reasons - because it makes me feel great, it keeps my weight down, it allows me to do what I want to do, it makes me look like I am 10 or 15 years younger, and it keeps me healthy.  Or, to put it another way, it gives me a better chance to survive the coming changes in sick care.

When will we find the national wherewithal to actually focus on health care - rewarding those who go out of their way to stay healthy?  I seriously doubt we ever will - or, hey, maybe that is what health care reform is all about.  In a cost controlled system perhaps staying healthy will be the true reward, as it becomes more and more problematic to be sick.  Sort of like keeping out of trouble is a really, really good idea in countries where prisons are truly not a pleasant place to be.  I suspect hospitals in the future may become a bit less pleasant in a cost-constrained sick-care world.

Get out there - do things, get healthy, find satisfaction, and happiness!

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