Saturday, December 27, 2008

Health care, tanking economy, and many worries

If you live in the United States, you may be one of the millions who have substandard or no health insurance. And, if you're in fear of losing your job or you have lost it, you may be heading that way soon.

According to an AARP survey on baby boomers and healthcare issues, "Nearly two out of ten adults age 45 and older are not very confident that they will be able to afford medical care in the coming year." The survey showed that 9% of respondents were not very confident and 10% weren't confident at all about affording health care, not a very encouraging result.

If the economy continues down its troubled path, these healthcare concerns will only worsen. I have heard some other points of view though, a glass half-full type of vision of what's happening. Some people are saying that a poorer economy will see people eating in more with healthier foods, rather than the huge high calorie, high fat, high salt foods that often come through the fast food restaurants. A slower economy may mean less expensive activities that can be replaced by hiking, cycling, or other outdoor activities. Socially, people may get together more as visiting family and friends becomes an entertainment alternative. So, maybe not all is bad. If we can keep healthier, we can keep our health costs down somewhat.

As a Canadian, I don't understand the strong opposition to having the government step in and help control healthcare costs and provide universal coverage for all and I feel very badly for those who have to make such tough decisions as to what is more important: eating or going to the doctor.


Terrie Farley Moran said...

Thanks for a thoughtful piece. Those who oppose universal health care come from two camps:

1. the industry itself fearing decreased profits.

2. those people who hold a political philosophy of individual responsibility without government interference.

We may see some change after the Obama administration assumes office. But it will be very difficult to make that drastic a change.

Here's hoping for the best.


Marijke Vroomen-Durning said...

Hi Terrie,

I do understand some concerns that exist about the so-called socialized medicine. We don't have it perfect up here, but there's always room for improvement.

I once was joking around with an American friend after I had to pay a lot of money to treat one of my dogs. I told her that I had an idea of what it felt like to try to figure out how much money one could afford to spend on medical care. Only - it wasn't really funny...