Firstly, this blog is not political. It may be provocative.
Nearly 7 years ago, America’s politicians made an honest attempt to correct America’s healthcare crisis. By most accounts, it mostly didn’t work. Washington is hard at work trying again to fix the crisis. Let me share the headline we will be reading in 7 more years: “Healthcare in America is Still Broken.”
Why do I say that? Because nobody, anywhere, is calling it like it really is. Sadly, Americans don’t want to hear that truth. The sad truth is Americans are too unhealthy to enjoy affordable healthcare.
It is utterly baffling to me how little we hear, read, pontificate, debate and argue about the real core problem of America’s healthcare system. We as Americans have chosen, willfully or otherwise to be unhealthy. The final and only real case in point is the astounding cost to provide healthcare in America. In 2015, Americans spent over $3 trillion on healthcare. That amounts to just over $9000 per person in America.
That’s just it. If the average American can’t choose to be healthy, $9,000 or $19,000 per person won’t fix the problem. Neither political party will fix this problem.
One third of American adults are obese or worse, along with one fifth of American children. By and large (no pun intended), obesity is a choice. It’s a choice so many of us make which leads to so many other preventable disease. Between 50 and 75% of adults don’t get enough exercise. This dearth of concern by Americans, by us, is the problem.
Looking at the CDC numbers (which are for different years, so don’t assume they are wholly accurate for any single year), yearly spending on completely preventable diseases amounts to roughly $1.2 trillion dollars. Those costs include the amount it takes to care for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.
The science is settled that these diseases are almost completely preventable. If healthcare were to be offered as a pure insurance product, the conundrum we are in would allow a much easier solution. By pure insurance, I mean a product that protects and provides for catastrophic and unpreventable circumstances. I would also state that routine checkups, immunizations, and women’s care should be covered to drive down catastrophic costs.
For the 49% of Americans that hated the first attempt to fix healthcare, and the 49% that hate the current attempt, my statement to you is that 50-75% should offer your solution.
Let me know what you think. Can focusing on American’s health instead of America’s healthcare solve the crisis we face?