I had to laugh a little late one night I Carol and I were on the interstate coming home from a wedding in Knoxville. We passed a car whose bumper sticker read, “Republican Healthcare Plan: Don’t Get Sick”. It made me chuckle a little, but the bumper sticker is a little unfair to those who truly believe that the private sector and innovation eventually will pay off in the long run. However, the bumber sticker revealed an existing belief that some in our society hold about the private sector — its a phrase that people hide behind so they don’t have to do anything about injustice (again not fair or entirely true).
Whether believe that healthcare should be left to unrestricted free market or if you are of the opinon that government should become increasingly involved (about 20% of healthcare costs are subsidized), the real cost of healthcare is this: we get sick. However, many if not most of the diseases that cost us the most are preventable.
Heart disease, diabetes, lung and mouth cancer, and high blood pressure are all very costly conditions that can be avoided by simply taking care of oneself. Its pretty simple really: eat healthy, don’t use tabacco, and get moderate exercise. Save yourself and everyone some green.
“Don’t get sick” is a wise plan reducing the costs of healthcare, and how those reduced costs are paid is another debate entirely. I’d rather pay the same or a little higher for my healthcare and allow for those 7 – 12% who don’t have insurance and couldn’t pay the bills if they did be taken care of too. I’m still hopefully for the private sector to get creative and make progress, but its hard not to be jaded.