Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Baby Boomer Health And The Economy

The very first article in the October 2011 issue of the American Association of Retired Persons Bulletin, is about what we as individuals can do to reduce the national debt and improve our economy. The article lists five practical things you can do to help, and two of those have to do with you taking better care with your health. They are to reduce your calories by 150 per day, and to walk a mile every day.

The argument is that healthcare costs are huge (think trillions of dollars) and better than half of that is paid by the federal government (that's you and me).

I believe a happy retirement is about being healthy and free of worry. This makes for a better retirement and actually contributes to our economy. So, skip the cookies and reduce the national debt.

Many people want to point their finger at someone in particular as the culprit in our healthcare crises, and it is never themselves. As a hospital administrator, my first reaction is to blame the insurance companies (I also lost a sister because of bad insurance procedures). I know there are those who would point that finger right back at hospitals. But, I have tried over and over to make the point that it is just not that simple.

Healthcare is a complex emotional issue, with many stakeholders involved looking out for their own interests. Think about the number of people with ownership in the healthcare system. Here are ones that come immediately to mind for me:

  • Patients
  • Doctors
  • Hospitals
  • Hospital administrators and hospital corporations
  • Insurance companies
  • Nurses and nurse associations
  • Other healthcare professionals
  • Clinical technicians
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Medical equipment companies
  • Numerous healthcare professional organizations
  • Government at several levels and in numerous ways
  • Parents
  • Political parties
  • Tax payers
  • Naysayers

With so many parties being impacted by whatever happens in healthcare, it is very difficult to find a single solution, if any solution at all. An answer can only be found if all these stakeholders are willing to recognize their role in fixing the problem and making efforts or sacrifices necessary for the good of the system.

I have always believed that we, the people, need to take ownership for our health and do our part to improve our personal health, which will help solve the national healthcare crises. And now an added incentive, is that it will also reduce the national debt. Bonus!

So the aforementioned article is right on, even the small steps of eliminating 150 calories and walking a mile each day could make a big difference if everyone in America did it. Will you?

I believe this is just one more way for baby boomers to take the lead and make America right.

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