What Do We Need To Do To Improve Health Care In This Country?
Posted August 24, 2009, 9:03 am
Growing Bolder asks leaders, thinkers, writers, life coaches, entertainers and role models to weigh in on issues affecting our lives.
What do we need to do to improve health care in this country?
At 91 years of age I am extremely interested in our governments efforts to finally try and come up with a national policy that would meet the needs of people like myself and of those without any health insurance.
Unfortunately the opportunity for a rational and calm discussion has been overwhelmed by vested interests and politicians who are more interested in preserving their own turf than in taking a calm and reasoned perspective.
I was particularly disgusted with the so called "death panel" hysteria fostered by certain members of the Republican party, especially Palin. My own feeling is that, having witnessed the degrading circumstances experienced by many of my friends when they are kept alive even when death is inevitable.
About Gordy Shields
Californian Gordy Shields is living proof that anyone can overcome almost anything. The 91-year-old can't walk more than 100 feet but he's one of the country's best cyclists. The discs in his lower back are slowly deteriorating, which leaves him hunched over. Rather than focusing on the fact that it keeps him from walking, he says his condition is ideal for racing. Last year, Gordy shattered the American record in the 20-kilometer time trial for cyclists 90-and-older.
Never have I seen such hate, misinformation and garbage as what is circulating now about the health care debate. I feel very strongly that many of those who did NOT want Obama to be elected are using the health care debate as a smokescreen to hide their racism so they can continue to spew their venomous hatred of a Black man as president. All one needs to do is look at the people who are leading the charge! Shame on these bigots! Shame on the Republicans for letting it continue! Shame on those who call themselves thinking Americans for buying into their lies and fear-mongering!
I turn 65 next April and look forward to going on Medicare as my health coverage will be MUCH better - and cheaper -than what I have now as a self-employed person. My husband is on Medicare now so I can see first-hand how much better this government-run system is. The insurance companies are only interested in one thing - the bottom line. They don't give a hoot about the health care of their customers. That has been very obvious all along.
This new plan will allow those who want to keep their private insurance to do so. And it will allow those who do not, to make a change. That's it! Plain and simple! Freedom of choice!
Wake up people and use your brain for a change. Stop REACTING and start thinking for yourselves. You might be pleasantly surprised.
About Nancy Nordstrom
Nancy Nordstrom didn't publish her first book, or even write it until she turned 61 and she hasn't slowed down since. "Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret for Making the Most of Your After 50 Years," focuses on lifelong learning. She's had to take new chances since her husband died of a heart attack in 1993. Since then, she's been learning how to continue to grow bolder and she's eager and willing to pass along what she's learned.
Many Americans are paranoid that if we socialize health care in the U.S., we would soon be a communist country. Canada started there public health care system almost sixty years ago and they are not communist yet.
England has had free public health care for years, and are not communists yet either. If you and I were poor or sick, we would be on our congressmans butts to pass this through.
Many are also afraid that this public health care will but a dent in our national budget. Guess what, the war has already done that and nobody is protesting it, but they are protesting free public health care that just might make us more equal!
Change is good...real good.
About Ted Skup
He believes that with obesity levels at an all-time high, fitness needs be a national priority. He says despite the fact we have an arsenal of exercise options at our disposal, the ultimate choice is, the simple push-up. Skup takes on the 35-billion-dollar fitness industry and explains why it is failing us, with its bogus claims, magic bullets, and quick fixes. Although the fitness industry may not want to hear it, push-ups are free, no equipment, no gimmicks and totally portable. He is the author of Death, Taxes & Push-ups.
Many people are missing the point when it comes to the Heath Care Debate. The Health Care Bill is finally the straw that has broken the average American's back. People are upset that in a very short period of time, this administration continues to spend money and push this country into debt. Through stimulus packages ,TARPS, and bailouts, we are not only bankrupting our generation, but placing an unfair tax burden on the next.
If you as a consumer followed the government game plan -- spending money you don't have, you would eventually be filing for bankruptcy. If you could spend your way into economic prosperity, I'm sure people and governments would have figured this out a long time a go.
Before you can discuss the pros and cons of the Health Care Bill, you have to know what is contained in the bill. To the amazement of just about everyone, not one Senator has admitted that he read or understood the bill in it's entirety, yet the President expected them to vote on it before the summer recess. This is madness, and only contributes to the feeling of many, that big government can not be trusted and is certainly not the vehicle to put this country on the right road to prosperity. If somehow you are one of the chosen few who can read and understand all of this gobbledygook, then you must decide if we can afford to pay for this bill -- we can't. The country is in the middle of a deep recession. The cost of the bill is staggering. And for all of the money spent on the various stimulus packages, unemployment continues to rise to dangerous levels.
Health Care Reform is a noble and important piece of legislation, but let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. We should make modifications to our present system, and do it in a fiscally responsible way. Show the American people that you have a plan that achieves results, rather than playing Russian Roulette with the economic health of the country.
About Pat Paciello
Pat Paciello is pushing 60 these days, has three grown children, and has been happily married for over 30 years. (He says the first year wasn't so hot!) He has been retired from the workforce for almost a decade. During that time span Pat has been particularly adept at enjoying leisure pursuits, and earning the highest recommendation from his peers for his "I do nothing, but I do it well attitude." His book, Has Anyone Seen My Reading Glasses? offers a unique and fresh approach to the subject of Baby Boomer retirement. First, it's written by a Baby Boomer who is actually retired. Second, the book is long on humor and personal anecdotes, and short on statistical analysis.
Now that you mention it, I do have strong feelings about the present debate. First, let me say that I am a registered Independent. Started out a Republican, switched to Democratic when I learned to read and think about things, and then decided Independent fit best of all. I don't mind paying taxes, so long as I see the money going for good programs.
I am in favor of a public plan. I have had medicare for six years and it works beautifully. I am also a retired WV State employee, so I have supplemental in addition. They turned it over to a private insurance company a couple of years ago, so it works like a medicare advantage program. Many medical people, hospitals and group practices don't take it at all. Fortunately, I already had physicians that kept me as a patient and, therefore, filed claims. The company has done a great job; however, I lost a lot of options.
Health care in this country ought to be a right. Most developed countries have public health care systems that work. My youngest daughter lived in Japan for many years and her health care was very good. They didn't do some complex procedures in private rooms, rather in a bed surrounded by a curtain. It was clean, efficient, courteous and competent. She got excellent care. She has Crohn's disease and got her medications at no cost. It is cheaper to prevent relapses than to treat them when they occur. I believe she would not be able to get private insurance in this country because of her existing condition. It might even prevent her from gainful employment because it could increase her utilization of the plan.
You have to admire Obama for trying to pass legislation to provide health care for Americans. I am hopeful that we will end up with something better than we have now.
Thanks for asking. I look forward to reading what my comtemporaries write about the question.
About Pat Bond
If working out is something new to you, you're not alone! Patricia
didn't get serious about it until she was in her 40s. She stuck with
it, and before she knew it, fitness had changed her life in more ways
than she ever expected. She wasn't the only one who noticed. She was
chosen Florida Senior Athlete of the Year back in 1999 and she's still
going strong. Swimming and cycling are the events she says help her
live her life to the fullest.
I am outraged about the Health Care plan. While I agree that we need a good health care plan that covers everyone who is a legal citizen in our country, this is not the one. If our politicians won't adapt this one for their own personal use, because they have what they feel is a far better plan...why don't we have the plan that they have?
To me, that says it all about this plan. And why didn't Obama come up with a plan, why did he allow Nancy Pelosi to write a plan that is so huge nobody has really read through it? Haven't we had enough of her politics? And where is AARP? They have abandoned the Senior Citizen in favor of selling all different insurance plans. They are afraid to speak out for the people they say they represent.
Really, do politicians think we're stupid? That we will allow them to decide who lives and who dies? That we will allow them to determine if our quality of life is right to sustain? I don't think so. I am proud of the American people for standing up and saying "enough."
About Christine Schwab
Turning forty, fifty, or sixty is not about getting older, it's about becoming ageless. Renowned style expert and television fashion reporter Christine Schwab sees aging as an opportunity to revitalize your style and enliven your attitude. In her frank, opinionated, and provocative style, she wrote "The Grownup Girl's Guide to Style", a book that defies many of the fashion and beauty industry philosophies. In this honest and empowering book, she offers the first open-minded approach to style, beauty, health, and well-being that will help every forty-plus woman achieve a classic look while maintaining her edge and personality.
I have seen your thoughts on this issue and wholeheartedly agree with you that much more emphasis should be put on individual responsibility to live a healthier life style, i.e eating right and exercise.
In addition the government should be dedicating more funding to prevention and education on how to accomplish a healthier lifestyle and prevent obesity, diabetes and heart issues.
In addition, I think that there should be much more emphasis on identifying and eliminating fraud and wasteful practices in Medicare.
I am sure that millions (if not billions) of dollars could be saved and used to fund some of the other good parts of the reform.
I was also glad to see the Congressmen and Senators getting verbally beaten up at town hall meetings, because hopefully they will go back and get serious about coming up with a much more sensible reform bill.
Keep up the great work with Growing Bolder!!
About Tony Handler
Tony Handler isn't supposed to be alive. In 1983 he was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. His doctor told him had two years to live. Despite this news he continued training. He's had a number of major health challenges since, but steadfastly refuses to let them be the focus of his life.
This subject is so close to home that it makes me too angry to even think about. I am self employed and I cannot afford health insurance. I make too much money (anything over abject poverty is too much money) to get any assistance and they keep raising the age of social security so there is no help in the immediate future.
Now I hear rumors the powers that be want to offer social security benefits to illegal aliens when they are cutting benefits for citizens who have actually paid in to the system. And they want to raise the age to receive benefits again?
The people who live on Capitol Hill have no idea what most of America is dealing with. They are living in Ivory Towers of power, influence and ridiculous incomes supported by those who don't have the same benefits and probably never will.
I'd like to see ever politician stripped of their health benefits and all their perks and have their salaries dropped to minimum wage immediately. Let's see how they handle the situation when they've walked a mile in our shoes. I suspect their attitudes might change drastically.
About Terri Dennis
The Pop Art Diva is an artist unlike any other. She's a baby boomer and proud of it! So proud, that even though she grew up during the Golden Age of TV, Rock 'N Roll and other classics of American Pop Culture she has embraced modern technology to advance her art. She's found the computer to be a great tool to feed her passion in art inspired by pop culture. She's also fascinated in how American history relates to pop culture mythology and understanding the influence it's had on our society.
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