It’s been a little while since I’ve gone off on one of my rants, but it’s also been a little while since I’ve felt energized enough to undertake the task. Tonight’s agenda is much like most of DC’s and the rest of the Nation’s, as the President’s speech to congress regarding health care was/is, in my opinion, justifiably the focus of the moment.
And though many of us have done our due diligence by voicing our opinions publicly, and giving the President an imaginary pat on the back for not putting off what has been put off for much too long, I still will argue that we aren’t all asking the right questions. Tonight, we heard what the plan actually is and we heard what the plan is not. We got deserved slaps on our wrists for partisan bickering, and we got deserved pats on the back for compromise and an awareness of our shared “American character” . We were told that we shouldn’t go broke because we get sick, and we were told that we shouldn’t die because we can’t afford health care. I don’t disagree with any of this mission, but what I want to know is this: When did “health care” become more about fixing you when your sick than preventing you from actually getting that way?
I want to know why my gym membership isn’t reimbursable through my health insurance. I know that I would go to the gym more if it was. How about you? We already have optional health flex spending accounts where we get reimbursed for buying toothpaste and pain killers, why not the gym?
I want to know why ALL medicine isn’t considered “preventative.” Why is an annual physical, yearly shots, and cancer screenings considered more important than trips to a nutritionist, and acupuncturist, or a psychiatrist. Yes, everyone needs to get their blood pressure checked, and no one should have to get the measles or the mumps, and certainly no one should end up with cancer if it can be avoided. But, does that make the other “specialties” any more or less legitimate in regard to preventative care? I would say that I consider mental stability and nutritional awareness to be as highly beneficial to healthful living as is knowing that my cholesterol is right where it should be and I’m up to date with my flu shots. But, how many of you actually have a nutritionist? I don’t. And, it’s a shame that these specialties are often considered desert, if you will; nice if you can afford it, but expendable if you can’t.
There isn’t any part of health care that should be considered expendable. And there isn’t any part of the “American charecter” that should sit back and be OK with the fact that the practice of medicine and insuring it has become a reactionary indurstry.
We are continually reminded that we are a nation of doers. But we forget that we can just as easily fall in to complacency. I’m glad the President reminded us of this tonight, and I am equally hopeful that even though a plan has been presented, that we aren’t done asking all the questions.