WOW, Medicare-for-all will cost only another $32 trillion![i]  A drop in the bucket.  We deserve to pay nothing, right? Free healthcare—put it in my basket—I'll take 3 of them!

When will proponents of "Medicare-for-all" understand the cost of healthcare is based not on greed, fraud, waste, and abuse (although they do contribute), but rather on our utilization?!  In other words, if you belly up to a buffet and eat only one plate of food, you only utilized a small amount of the healthcare.  However, should you pile it on and consume and waste 3 or 4 plates of food, you have over-consumed your rightful share.  Not to mention you have put your health at risk. Use healthcare when needed, don’t abuse it, and don’t expect to rely on it when you create the problem yourself through unhealthy behaviors.  Health insurance should be there for us when something big strikes.  It’s important to take care of yourself the rest of the time.

Yes, as Dr. Stephen Aldana has stated more times than I can count: we are both "the culprit and the cure".[ii]  Lifestyle choice makes up to 75% of our healthcare expenditures.[iii]

You can only squeeze so much out of efficiencies and negotiated costs (i.e., paying doctors less for their expertise and commitment).  We shouldn't stop trying to be more efficient, or go after waste, abuse, and fraud.  But we need to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee: we are killing ourselves.  Our country has consistently grown (our waistlines).  If our productivity, efficiencies, and respect for each other grew the same amount over the past several decades, we would not have the healthcare "cost" epidemic we now battle, nor the lack of respect in our country.  And you can take that to the bank.

let’s start a conversation

Endnotes

 

[i] Morgan Haefner, “$28 trillion+: The cost of 'Medicare for All' over a decade,” Becker’s Hospital Review, 28 February 2019, https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/28-trillion-the-cost-of-medicare-for-all-over-a-decade.html

[ii] Steven Aldana, The Culprit and the Cure: Why Lifestyle is the Culprit behind America’s Poor Health (Mapleton, UT: Maple Mountain Press, 2004).

[iii] Hugh Waters and Marlon Graf, “America’s Obesity Crisis: The Health and Economic Costs of Excess Weight,” Milken Institute, 26 October 2018, http://www.milkeninstitute.org/publications/view/944 via MCOL Daily Factoid email newsletter, 6 November 2018

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