Monday, February 9, 2009
Health Economics: Part 2
YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO BE $ICK!
Medical problems contribute to half of all bankruptcies in the US.
“Every 30 seconds in the United States, someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem. Each year, 2 million Americans face the double disaster of illness and bankruptcy”
Shockingly, according to the same study; “three-quarters of the medically bankrupt had health insurance.”
Furthermore, the conclusion of that study is that no-one is safe. Or, as one of the study’s authors writes: “We are all one serious illness away from bankruptcy.”
How does this happen? And, will it happen to you?
As the adage goes: “The only constant in life, is change.” Or, as a young guitarist once told me: “If you ain’t gettin’ better, you’re only gettin’ worse.”
The same holds true for your health; you are either moving towards health, or on a trajectory towards disease.
Which way are you headed?
If you take your health for granted, then you are on the road to chronic disease. If you eat a typical American diet; short on fruits and vegetables and high on fast, snack and junk foods, juices and sodas, you are headed towards the medical trifecta of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, with increased risk of stroke and cancer. The same can be said if you drink to excess, smoke or live a typical high stress and/or sedentary life.
These chronic diseases, in addition to causing lives filled with pain, disability and medical bills, are responsible for seven out of every ten deaths in America. These diseases are not genetic and you don’t just catch them. Chronic diseases take decades of unhealthy living to develop. Therefore, they are largely avoidable, as are the expenses associated with them.
In short, if you are not investing the time, effort and money every day that it takes to become, and then stay, healthy; then you had better be prepared to spend way more time, effort and money it takes to be sick. But keep in mind, the studies indicate you can’t afford to be sick, and it might bankrupt you.
The best insurance is to maximize your health, thereby minimizing your chance of major illness. There is no better investment than investing in your health.
You need your health now more than ever to protect yourself and your family from disabling and bankrupting illnesses.
"The greatest wealth is health." Virgil
(Next blog entry: The Obvious and Not So Obvious Costs of Disease)