Healthcare Costs in US: Political or Self Accountability Problem?

“You must accept responsibility for your actions….”  Did you hear this quote growing up? Anytime I had a crazy idea to do something, my parents made sure they relayed this “parental advice.”  I’ve learned this doesn’t just pertain to teenagers, but it SHOULD pertain to every individual.  However, that just doesn’t seem to be the case.

 

The media shows our government debating health care issues daily.  And society argues what is the right and wrong answer to this problem.  The answer is simple, yet unfortunately, it would be the toughest task for our country to do.  YOU MUST ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS.

 

Healthcare Costs in US: Not a political problem, but a self accountability problem.

 

January reports show that the US spent about $160 BILLION on healthcare in 2010, doubling the amount that the US spent 10 years ago.  Obesity accounts for 8.5 percent of Medicare expenditure, 11.8 percent of Medicaid expenditure, and 12.9 percent of private insurance expenditure.  The scary part is that the statistics show that if we continue at this rate, the cost of $160 billion will DOUBLE by 2018.

 

Two thirds of Americans are overweight and over one third of Americans are Obese.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said “Obesity and with it diabetes are the only major health problems that are getting worse in this country, and they’re getting worse rapidly.” Medicare spends about $600 more a year on medications for an obese beneficiary than a person of normal weight.

 

If that doesn’t shock you enough, McKinsey analysis along with the National Health Expenditure Accounts report that “obesity indirectly costs the US at least $450 Billion annually-almost three times the direct medical cost.”

 

Here’s the thing: Diabetes and Obesity and many forms of heart disease are Curable. If each American took some responsibility and self accountability, and made healthier food choices and exercised, the money saved on healthcare would be take a drastic chunk out of our country’s deficit!  Ergo, medical costs would decline, health insurance would decline and Americans would find more money in their bank account.

 

Here’s the question: How do we get everyone on board? How do we get everyone to hold themselves responsible for their lifestyle choices?

 

Kimberly Renoud, Emerge Fitness

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