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The Right to Health Care by Bonnie Pyle
Universal healthcare, single payer health care, and Medicaid-for-all. These are phrases we’ve been hearing a lot lately. As the socialist ideology continues to spread in this country we will likely hear a lot more about all these ideas. Essentially all these amount to the same thing, government funded “free” healthcare for every American. Nice idea, but far from free, and for a country of approximately 325 million, maybe not very realistic.
Approximately 60% of Americans live with a chronic disease and many of those have more than one chronic condition. That is many sick people for any health care system to manage and that’s just the common chronic diseases. The chart below shows the most common chronic health conditions in America as of 2014.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, mood disorders, diabetes, and anxiety disorders; these are the top five chronic conditions in America. Most of the people suffering from these disorders receive some kind of medical treatment and most receive ongoing care for life. The most common treatments people seek for these conditions are medications. Of course, frequent doctor appointments are necessary in order to monitor all of these health conditions and provide the medications needed to control them. That’s a significant healthcare cost, just for the monitoring and managing of the top chronic conditions that 60% of Americans live with.
That phrase ‘conditions that Americans live with’ is the key to everything. How many people are cured of high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, or mood disorders? Not many. Taking medication for your entire lifespan is not a cure, it’s a mechanism to control the health conditions, not cure them. As most of us are aware, this is how insurance companies and pharmaceutical giants make their money, they control your chronic health conditions and keep you dependent on doctors and medications for your entire life. Obviously, this is a very lucrative business. Free healthcare for all? How is that remotely possible with this kind of scenario?
America has a large population, 60% of that population has at least one chronic health condition. Nearly 40% of adults in America are obese, not just overweight, but obese. We are not a healthy nation. These bleak statistics are likely behind the recent push for universal healthcare, as Americans get sicker and healthcare costs rise, the demand for “free” healthcare increases.
The idea that healthcare is a basic human right is also gaining popularity. This idea sparks quite a bit of controversy with opponents saying no one has a right to anyone else’s labor. This is true with the banishment of slavery. The idea of having a right to the labor of anyone other than yourself has also become obsolete or at least it should have.
However, one absolute right that everyone in this country shares is the right to take care of our own health. The number one recommendation for non-medicated related prevention and treatment of the top five chronic diseases plaguing this country is lifestyle change. Diet, exercise, stress management, these are all treatments available to each and every one of us, for little or no cost!
Information is everywhere these days and it’s increasingly difficult to claim ignorance about healthy practices. Most everyone has a smart phone, tablet, or computer within arm’s reach. A quick search will tell you anything you want to know about health, nutrition, exercise, stress management and general wellness.
Living in the beautiful state of Colorado, exercise opportunities are everywhere. Trails, bike paths, parks, winter or summer sports, even a walk around the block will usually offer you great weather and views. There are gyms that offer memberships for as low as $10 a month, and free or low-cost exercise classes are easy to find. Check your local community centers or parks and rec facility and I bet you will find several class options. Many of these same places also offer free or low cost cooking classes that focus on healthy food preparation.
The top five chronic diseases in America can all be prevented or improved with a healthy lifestyle. Many of the other common health conditions will also benefit from lifestyle changes. Instead of turning on the TV when you get home from work, grab your dog, bike, kids, or walking shoes, and go outside! Instead of planning your weekend around binge watching your favorite TV show, check out a nearby trail, or catch a yoga class in your community. Every one of us has an absolute RIGHT to take CARE of our HEALTH!
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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Lance Cayko at 303.775.7406 or email at CommunicationsDirector@LPColorado.org.