Here’s the unspoken truth about health care costs. Stats prove that with an aging population and America’s health worsening, premiums aren’t going down. It’s a mathematical fact: More people and worse health equals greater costs. And no politicians are talking about the only real solution to health care’s cost problems (but I will). Why? It’s simple. “Health Care” in America is totally backward in its methods of treatment and reimbursement. In a strange way, it incentivizes us to be sick, not well. People don’t wake up and decide to live a lifestyle causing heart disease, cancer, dementia or any of the “chronic” diseases making up 80 percent of medical claims. Rather, most take health for granted until something bad happens and then want the best medical care available, regardless of cost.
This isn’t health care; it’s “Sick Care” and very expensive to provide. Here’s something else.
There are very few line items in the medical code to reimburse for “Health (prevention of disease) Care” in medicine, so little attention is paid to it. Medicine needs Sick Care to be financially stable, and we spend far more per capita than any country in the world yet rank 17-24th in “Quality of Life” assessments. Obviously, we aren’t getting our money’s worth the way things are, and politicians aren’t solving problems.
Until medicine/insurance financially incentivizes us, the end users of health care to take better care of ourselves (will never happen), we need to make personal health and wellbeing a major priority in our daily lives. Don’t rely exclusively on Sick Care to keep you “Well.” We live lives that make us ill, we can live lives that make us well. Get annual physicals, age-related screens and all that, but make time for your greatest asset, quality of life and spend your later years thriving, not just existing.
Many say health care is a “Right,” but “Quality of Life” is a privilege we should cherish and strive for daily.
J. Scott Uhalt, Ph.D.
Message seems to be getting quieter
I always enjoy reading other people’s visions of Utopia. Two fellow letter writers have recently proffered their visions of it: the first a world without religion, the second a universally Christian one.
We can learn from history about both, for both have been tried by force.
As an example, the European Reformation and Counter-Reformation resulted in a fascinating variety of Utopic visions but was followed by about 150 years of genocidal conflict as the combatants fought to sort out which one was best.
On the flip side, Stalin and Mao tried to force the secular alternative, making religion illegal; their combined efforts lead to a death count of innocents far exceeding the Holocaust.
In contrast to these desperate attempts to create Utopia, the geniuses who authored the U.S. Constitution recognized that a system of beliefs held universally – by an entire nation – is probably a fantasy. The colonies were filled with contentious Puritans, Deists and Quakers, among others, and the authors gave up on the idea of micromanaging everyone else’s beliefs. Instead, they said that if you don’t like what other people have to say about their own beliefs, too bad – it’s their right. The authors’ message was sublimely simple: The only critical belief necessary for peace is that the beliefs of others should be tolerated.
Sadly – frighteningly, given the facts of history – it’s a message that seems to be getting quieter by the day.
Candidates selected in parking lots
I’ve been trying to sort out the corner we have painted ourselves into with Props. 107 and 108. As I understand it, we are going to abandon the caucus/assembly method of determining which candidates will appear on the ballot and let the candidates be decided by what?
Apparently the candidates on the ballot will be decided by petition!
How are petitions created? They are funded by high-roller candidates who can afford to hire young unemployed, uninformed petitioners who hang out in Walmart parking lots and other gathering places to gather signatures. Now I have nothing against Walmart shoppers, I’m a regular. But, Walmart shoppers might be easily swayed by young folks asking them to sign petitions on the spur of the moment.
So, instead of letting some well informed voters who have taken the time to get to know the candidates and have attended a caucus of other informed voters decide who gets on the primary ballot, we’re going to let the decisions be made in Walmart parking lots.
Stop twisting language around
The Gazette seems to be joining the chorus of those who think that everyone must be a member of some hate group.
The Aug. 16 editorial page is an example. I realize that there are so many hate groups that it is hard to keep track of them all, but I object to including the term “white nationalist” as one of them. My dictionary says that a nationalist is one who believes in nationalism and that nationalism is a devotion to one’s nation; patriotism.
I have been devoted to the United States of America all my life, including 23 years of service in our military.
I am a patriot. So, I am a nationalist. Also, I am Caucasian, so I am a white nationalist. And, I am not a member of any hate group.
Can we quit twisting our language around trying to describe everyone as a member of some hate group?