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'Affordable' Health Care? It Can Be Affordable If People Are Responsible for Their Own Lifestyles

Affordable Health Care act is a Myth or Real--It is upto people's lifestyle changes and listening to Benjamin Franklin.

Geneva, St.Charles and Batavia Patch carried a four-part series on the "" 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!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

J.O. September 04, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Well of course. If everyone was healthy, we wouldn't need any health care. If everyone rode their bike and used wind power - we wouldn't need any foreign oil. If everyone would stop committing crimes, we wouldn't need the police. Eating healthy and going to work out costs money (more than eating . Why doesn't the government subsidize that - being that it would be *less* expensive than trying to juggle the ACA.
Bob Loblaw September 04, 2012 at 06:09 PM
The whole "working out costs money" thing is a myth perpetuated by people that are too lazy to exercise. Have you ever heard of the outdoors? It's free. Eating healthy is also no more expensive than whatever garbage people are buying as an alternative, and even less so when you consider the real costs.
Arthur Dietrich September 04, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Make all hospitals and insurance companies not for profit would lower costs.
J.O. September 04, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I work out. It costs money. Time is money. So is a gym membership or exercise equipment. ANd the outdoors? I'm not going to start pulling a Rocky IV and start lugging giant logs on my back. I agree that people should do their best to be healthy - my point is - of course that would be utopia - but it isn't reality. If everyone drove electric cars, we wouldn't need foreign oil. But people don't want to drive electric cars. Just like they'd all like to be healthy. they just aren't.
Bob Loblaw September 05, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Don't be so purposefully dense. Sorry, should I have replaced outdoors with "subdivision sidewalk?" Walking, running, playing with your kids and/or dog, whatever...these are all things that are free.
Chris K. September 05, 2012 at 02:37 AM
No need to 'pull a rocky' - sit-ups and push-ups can be done anywhere, anytime for free. Find a flight of stairs, or just a single step, and boom - great exercise there for free as well. Yes, time is money - sleeping costs a lot by that standard...
Mike Bruno September 05, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Evolution has programmed us to consume calories. We are a wealthy nation that has built its culture around not having to expend energy. Market forces have concocted calorie-rich and nutrient devoid foods that have high profit margins. We surround ourselves with food and can get a "meal" when we walk into Home Depot. Corn syrup is poured into most everything (often as a substitute for fat). Everything seems to conspire against us as a society to maintain health. Saying "go get exercise and eat less" is, in my opinion, can only have fleeting and random success on the whole.
All hospitals in this area-Delnor,CDH,Sherman are NOT for Profit. Medicare is NON Profitable. Look at the Fraud claims and payments--150 billion$/year. I would like "Old Style payment system"--patients pays doctors. Do you know extra effort/cost of collecting from Insurance co . by doctors. Looking back,Dentists are better.My mother went to Oral Surgeon dentist and regular dentist--both charges 7000$ for 2 teeth--She had to pay by Cash or Credit card immediately.No billing and collecting expenses.These people make more than us working 40 hours-where we put in over 60 hours per week---went thru 7 years of training after MD from Johns Hopkins Medical School--rated # 1 or 2 in USA. Hospitals face similar challenges collecting money.
I thank you all for reading this blog and thinking about ways to reduce costs. If we could reverse Obesity rate from 33% now to 11% in 60's,the Health Care costs will drop. I see more Obese patients as they have more digestive disorders. I should be happy as I make more from these people. But I tried very hard--to counsel them-even offered the services of a nutrition specialist(come to their house and make some changes to help them)--but very few takers. I have saved lives at the age of 13 as a Boy Scout-I have saved 2 lives in airplane. I want to help people become healthy. But it takes 2--Me and My patient.
Agree. Sad but true--Obesity is now 33%--will go up. So will health care costs.
No TEAM wins without TEAM EFFORT. In Health Care: It is a Doctor & PATIENT. They are a team. If Patient listens to the Doctor--they get better sooner. If they get better sooner--It reduces Health Care cost.
Remember Albert Einstein-He was an immigrant.We are importing lots of Einstein's-helping US productivity and Growth.

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