Thursday, September 10, 2009

How to pay for health care

It appears to be fashionable these days to complain about the status and cost of health care in America. At the risk of being labeled an apologist for the insurance industry (yes I despise them too, but I'll save that for a future post) a few inconsistencies struck me as odd. Primarily, I'd like to know how it is that people are unable afford health insurance yet are able to afford some or all of the following items:
  • cell phones
  • large screen televisions
  • cable television (the big screen just isn't cool without digital cable)
  • high speed internet access
  • multiple vehicles
  • fast food
  • iPods
  • computers
  • cigarettes
  • alcohol
  • soda
  • candy
  • movies
  • home theater systems
  • vacations
  • gym memberships
  • video games
Granted, the list isn't exhaustive and a few of the items could be considered necessary; it doesn't really matter. The issue is that many people who can't afford insurance somehow find ways to get the other junk they want. Additionally, and I'll probably come off as an insensitive jerk for saying this but if you drink, smoke, eat, or otherwise abuse your body for decades and end up diseased as a result, it's your own fault. The cost of care should have been considered long before you ended up talking with the doctors. It makes me wonder how much we spend annually treating entirely preventable diseases of lifestyle?
Is it really a mystery that people who eat nutritionally deficient food, stare at a television for hours each day, and get little to no physical exertion end up sick?
Clearly health care needs to be reformed, (although it's laughable to think that a bureaucratic albatross like our federal government is going to come up with a cheaper and more efficient system than we currently have) is it too Polly-Anna to believe we would collectively save more money and be healthier by simply changing our own habits first?

It' s easy to complain about the cost of insurance, but much harder (and more effective) to change our own behavior.


1 comment:

  1. I am in agreement with you.

    In an effort to establish what has commonly been referred to as ‘social justice’ the government is stepping in to give people things that have been, and should be, the responsibility of the person to provide for themselves. If health insurance is deemed to be a ‘right’ for everyone to have, and the government will provide it, then should we not say that food, water, and shelter is also a ‘right’ for each individual. When will that be provided?