Monday, September 28, 2009

Health Care - Earned or Entitled?

Do we want health care regardless of ability to pay to be our right as Americans, or do we think it is a benefit to be earned? This is a core issue being debated all over the country.

Should everyone visiting the US be able to receive urgent or emergent care? Should children or the elderly have special consideration and coverage? No matter our opinion on these issues, we are freaked out about how we are paying for care now and how we might pay for it in the future. Right now costs are high. We are already paying for our unhealthy citizens in so many ways - just look around you at the decreasing quality of so many of our lives.

We are becoming more overweight, diabetic, and depressed. We wait until we absolutely have to, and then visit our emergency rooms for care. This is a lot more expensive than a primary care physician or clinic. However, when there is no insurance and emergency rooms have to take you, it is clearly the easiest option. Lack of insurance coverage also discourages regular check-ups and deprives people of developing a relationship with a provider that can be key in in injury/illness prevention and health maintenance.

I would like to see a system crafted that provided incentive for getting healthier and staying healthier. I hear from people daily who would like to learn self-care and health improvement skills but can't afford it. I want people to be able to gain skills and be empowered to improve their quality of life. Don't you?