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Friday, September 25, 2009

Ready to go Twisted Sister..?

Tonight I participated in a Fox Business Network debate about healthcare... Is it or is it not a right..?

Live tv never really affords genuine debate. At least not in the world of news punditry... And try as I might, each appearance results in a failure to complete my thought, correct a false accusation, or make the point I intended to make. That's why it's so addicting..! I'm always certain I'll do better next time... Just gimme another chance...

So no, Healthcare is not a Constitutional right. However, the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental American ideal. It says so right there in the Declaration of Independence. And without health, there is no pursuit of happiness.

Yet we live in a culture that promotes obesity, chronic illness, and skyrocketing healthcare costs... and that's exactly the results we've got. Half of us chronically ill, 80% of our friends taking a prescription med last week, and most of us on our way to overweight or obesity (if we're not there already). Did I forget type 2 diabetes in that list?

Every American deserves easy access to affordable nourishing foods and safe recreational facilities. These are the attributes of a healthy culture and healthy people. Special considerations should be given to at-risk communities. And of course, every child in this country should receive top-notch medical care.

When it comes to us adults, we need to man up/woman up. If we take ultimate accountability for our health, that's the very moment we go Twisted Sister. We're not gonna take it..! If medical costs associated with our lifestyle choices start coming out of our own pockets, we'll be passive no more. We'll demand, DEMAND, that hidden sugars come out of our food, that sodium counts be cut in half, that crazy portion sizes be reduced to Mad Men-era restraint...and all the other hyper-dopamine-inducing formulations, packaging and marketing become above-board and honest. If we're held accountable, we're damn sure gonna hold Big Food and Big Beverage accountable too. It doesn't end there, but that's a start.

When you go back to the basics of health insurance, you land on risk assessment. The statistical risks of the Healthy are meant to offset the risks of the Unhealthy. Obviously risk ultimately equals costs... How is it possible to offset the costs when most Americans are sick? If 8% of us are eating right, exercising daily, not smoking and drinking moderately if at all, then how can we 8% possibly offset the lifestyles of the other 92%? Keep in mind, some in the 8%, even though we're doing just about everything right, will be met with congenital issues, accidents or other circumstances requiring medical attention.

We've all grown weary over the ongoing debate about healthcare. Obama, the House, the Senate...I don't know who will ultimately deliver the go-with plan. At its core is the need to ensure people have health, not necessarily a particular health care plan. It's about keeping each one of us out of the hospital bed.

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