Geneva, St.Charles and Batavia Patch carried a four-part series on the "Affordable Health Care Act" passed by Congress. Some call it ObamaCare.
The real question is: Will it be affordable?
Based on history and current trends, one can easily conclude IT WILL NOT BE.
But if people change their behaviors, then it is possible that it could be.
Rather than go into too much detail, let me list a few steps by everyone, or at least 80 percent of people.
1) Help to reduce obesity—which means eating healthy foods, exercising four times a week etc. If we can change obesity, currently at 33 percet, to 20 percent, then we are likely to reduce health care costs. Remember, obesity was 11 percent in '60s.
2) Follow Benjamin Franklin, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." For example, getting a colonscopy costs less than $2,000, but getting treatment costs $500,000 as new, expensive cancer drugs are coming to the market that are going to bust healthcare budgets.
Twenty-five percent of people over 50 have a polyp in the colon—that's 1-in-4. This fact is not taken seriously, as the colon-screening rate in Illinois is 55 percent. At least 45 percent of people are at risk. Is it due to lack of insurance? No, because about 56 percent of those people have insurance coverage. It is due to personal irresponsibility, the "I am OK" philosophy. Ask Dr. Oz, who at 50 had a cancerous polyp.
Ask Kim, 50, Katie Couric's friend. Both of them are healthy with no symptoms or family history.
3) Reducing unnecessary ER visits means that people will have to go to doctors/clinics during 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., as more clinics are open seven days a week—but that may require driving a few miles to go to the nearest clinic rather than a hospital.
If people can change their lifestyles and seek cheaper options of going to these clinics during the day, rather than running to ER at 2 a.m. for minor problems, then there is hope that the healthcare costs can be contained within limits. This is the major change in responsibilty required to lower unnessary visits to ER. Will people change?
Free care means more irresponsible behavior and actions.
AND YES--Getting Preventative Screenings on time.
Michelle Obama has tried her best to lower obesity among kids. Disney is cooperating. But that is not enough. It is like smoking—we need to take major actions that make people think. We need labels like "WARNING: Too much of this drink or this food can add to obesity and higher health problems" on sugary drinks or fatty foods.
But the data proves that I am too wishful in my thinking, as those who are insured do not go for colon cancer screening. They ignore Dr. Oz's or Katie Couric's advice.
I see obese patients and spend extra time counselling them to reduce their weight, even offering a nutrition counsellor. But with little success.
So I come to the conclusion: Healthcare costs will rise!