America moves onward toward offering health insurance coverage for a greater number of its citizens. Health insurance should be in place to help you when accidents and unforeseen events happen to you to help you get back onto your feet. Insurance is meant to help protect you financially in times of health crisis so you are not wiped out by huge bills and therefore is a good thing.
But who is responsible for the day-to-day upkeep and maintenance of your health? Here’s the answer: YOU. You are the one who has ownership of the health of your own body from the time you are born. Most of you are blessed with great health and it’s your job to upkeep that health for the duration of your entire life. This is a very different topic from the debate going on in the halls of government which deals a lot more with where health care dollars will come from and how the money will be disbursed.
There is no significant discussion in Congress or on Main Street USA about personal responsibility for one’s health and the impact that has on the well-being of the health care system. No one seems able to or wants to imagine the terrific reduction in demand for health care dollars if 80% of the US population suddenly became healthy and didn’t need pills or hospital services and needed only to get an annual physical. No one seems able to envision that personal wellness may be the most important part in keeping the US health system from collapse. It’s easier to clamor and complain that more dollars are needed to cover more services. And politicians listen.
Here’s an analogy. You have insurance for the home you live in to protect you financially should a catastrophic loss occur. Home insurance does not pay for mowing the grass, painting the house, repairing a faucet or replacing your kitchen or exterior siding when you get tired of the old look. These are maintenance matters for which you are responsible and which you choose to do or not. But suppose home insurance policies cover these and dozens of other things. Can you imagine what your premiums would be? Oh. Here’s an idea. Maybe the government should pay for a major portion of home maintenance here in these United States. Let your home go to garbage and a government program will pay up.
Your body is your home. You need to care for it and not someone else. How do you maintain the health of your body? Do you:
- exercise and do plenty of vigorous physical activity every day?
- choose healthy foods to eat every day, namely vegetables and fruits. Do you eat 4 to 5 servings of these foods daily?
- sharply curtail consumption of starchy, sugary, fatty foods on a daily basis? These have strong tendency to throw your bodily health way out of balance. Obesity and even osteopenia (loss of bone mineral) has increased significantly in the under-20 years of age population. (Is this going to add significantly to health service demands?)
- get quality sleep and rest?
- use more natural personal care products that don’t contain protentially-harmful chemicals and artificial fragrances?
- develop your own approaches to de-stressing your life and to generating more joy each and every day?
- hydrate regularly through the day?
Insurance is a concept that works when those in an insurance pool (everyone’s putting in money to fund the pool) follow rules so as not to place excessive drain upon the accumulated resources. The money in the pool is meant to share risk (everyone chipping in ) so that should a member of the pool meet with misfortune there are funds to help that member recover. It doesn’t work when many members demand more resources than there are available. This is what’s happening with health care.
If there were no health care system (imagine for a moment) a person who gets ill would pay out of pocket for all services rendered. But that’s not the case because there is a health care system. Millions of people are paying in premiums every month. Many of these people work at upkeeping their health. But a small percent don’t but they take out a disproportionate share of dollars from the pool every month. And some of these people don’t observe the rules of good health.
Everyone …….. and that means EVERYONE ……….. needs to get on board with upkeeping personal health for the sake of the well-being of this country’s health care system.