Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 2 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Advocating personal responsibility in health-care reform: Bullshit!

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 43144
Message Dominique Lord

Reprinted from Open Salon.

We have observed a lot of discussions lately about health insurance and the role of personal responsibility. None was more prominent than Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who indicated in his recent WSJ article that many of the health-care problems in the U.S. are self-inflicted and about 70% of all health-care spending is preventable. Basically, Mr. Mackey implied that by changing our eating habits (via buying items at Whole Foods, I assume) and having a more active lifestyle, we don't need to significantly reform our health care system (other than the tax related stuff, such as the useless Health Savings Accounts or HSA). Like so many people on the right, John Mackey is advocating that personal responsibility is a critical component of health care reform.

Before I go into the heart of the matter, I need to point out that I am not disputing that eating healthier food and being more physically active will be very beneficial, as discussed here and here. However, is this enough to solve existing health care problems? So much so that we should keep the status quo about how health care is delivered in the United States?

Well, let's find out, shall we?

According to the University of Kansas Medical Center, there are approximately 13 million people in the U.S. who suffer from a genetic disease (there are 15,500 recognized genetic disorders!). Here is a sample of what researchers at this Center reported (based on peer-reviewed publications):

  • 11.1% of pediatric hospital admissions are for children with genetic disorders.
  • 18.5% of pediatric hospitalizations are for children with congenital malformations.
  • 50% of individuals found to have mental retardation have a genetic basis for their disability.
  • 12% of adult hospital admissions are for genetic causes.
  • 15% of all cancers have an inherited susceptibility.
  • 10% of the chronic diseases (heart, diabetes, arthritis) which occur in the adult populations have a significant genetic component.

It is interesting to note that many cancers and chronic diseases are in fact caused by a genetic propensity. Burgers may not be that bad for your health after all" just kiddin'!

The Center also notes that the lifetime costs associated with some of these genetic diseases could be as high as $1,000,000. Yep, $1M! I am wondering how many servings of fruits and vegetables this amount is equivalent to. On a more serious note, how many Americans could afford these lifetime expenses, even with full (private) insurance coverage?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non-intentional injuries are considered a serious public health problem. In fact, it takes a toll on the health of the population and imposes important social and economic costs on society.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Dominique Lord Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Dominique is an Associate Professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. His research work aims at reducing the negative effects associated with motor vehicle crashes. When he's not developing mathematical and (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Living in a Third World country (aka The United States)

Health Care Comparison: Universal System in Canada vs. Private System in the U.S.

Medicare is not a single-payer system, get it?

Let's Compare Universal and Private Health Care Out-of-Pocket Costs, eh?

Does Global Warming mean the fall of the US Empire?

Profiling in Arizona? Already done at internal immigration checkpoints!

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: