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Our health or buying an iPod: We often make the wrong choice

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POSTED June 22, 2009 1:11 a.m.
An iPod costs as much as a dental exam and cleaning.

That explains in a large part why this nation’s health care costs are growing faster than morning glory and are threatening to choke the life out of the economy.

We all make choices. And those choices aren’t necessarily wise.

Our kid has to have an iPod but we can skimp on the dental exam.

Can’t afford the vaccines but we can get our 7-year-old designer clothes even if we can barely afford to feed them.

Then when our teeth start deteriorating or our kid gets extremely sick from something that could have been avoided we run to doctors and demand they provide a magic pill immediately and then when the bill comes we howl about how outrageous the cost of health care is today.

Health care costs are outrageous and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

It wasn’t too many years ago that we all had a shorter life expectancy. Most people took preventative measures seriously that the medical community discovered and made available for relatively cheap. That’s why polio is no longer a scourge. There are more and more people, however, who are not having their kids take vaccines even when it is offered to them at low cost because of their income. Why? People aren’t dying as much as they used to including kids so naturally they think they’re golden.

Besides, we can’t be bothered. It might take away from TV time or a multitude of other things that we place a higher priority on than our health until we’re sick.

The health care professionals we alternate between worshipping and vilifying have been telling us the same thing for years – take care of ourselves. Our health obviously isn’t important considering where we place things such as balanced diets, moderation, and exercise on our must do lists.

When something goes wrong, though, we want everything modern medical technology can throw at us.

It doesn’t end there.

Study after study – plus common sense – tells you wearing a helmet in a lot of situations where you put your brain in peril makes sense. The right hit or enough jarring over the years will do interesting things. Yet we often ignore such requirements or suggestions. However, if we end up sustaining brain injuries we expect someone to pick up the tab. If you spend $1 million plus on brain surgery and rehabilitation has to be paid by someone. Do enough brain surgeries and there is a ton of increased premiums.

While socialized or nationalized medicine may have its drawbacks it will accomplish one thing and that is to save ourselves from ourselves.

It won’t take long for the government pencil pushers to understand what the health care experts already know. The two most expensive weeks of our lives tend to be the first and the last.

Premature babies cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to stay alive. The same is when people are near death. People understandably grasp at straws although it may not be the patient who is doing the grasping. So we unleash a torrent of tests and treatments that the odds are astronomically high will never change the course of events. It is done because doctors and hospitals fear lawsuits and it is done because we don’t want to face reality.

Besides, there is always that one chance.

It is that one chance that is driving heath care costs sky high. The market place allows those who can afford insurance to shop for the coverage they want.

Uncle Sam ultimately won’t have that luxury.

So instead of health care professional playing the lead in consulting with families when to simply let nature takes its course, the government will instead.

The bottom line is – and always will be – if we want lower health care costs and improved health we have to take an active role in our health.
It is as simple as that.
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