As our population grows (and the election nears), more and more is said about what the implications are for our future generations. Who will take care of the aged? How will we pay for medical coverage? What policies will be effective and what do they actually look like?
These are all good questions. Recently I read an article that addressed some of them.
ScienceDaily (Sep. 25, 2012) — The aging of the U.S. population will have broad economic consequences for the country, particularly for federal programs that support the elderly, and its long-term effects on all generations will be mediated by how — and how quickly — the nation responds, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council. The unprecedented demographic shift in which people over age 65 make up an increasingly large percentage of the population is not a temporary phenomenon associated with the aging of the baby boom generation, but a pervasive trend that is here to stay.
So, politicians (yikes!) are given a tough task. How do we provide for this increasing need?
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are on unsustainable paths, and the failure to remedy the situation raises a number of economic risks, the report says.
No one seems to deny that we have some issues with our health care system. If you’ve ever dealt with health insurance, I’m sure you’ve experienced frustration! But it’s not merely a question about whether you have insurance or not. Even if the government provided insurance for everyone, how would it be paid for? More importantly, WHAT is it paying for?
“The nation needs to rethink its outlook and policies on working and retirement,” said Ronald Lee, professor of demography and economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and committee co-chair. “Although 65 has conventionally been considered a normal retirement age, it is an increasingly obsolete threshold for defining old age and for setting benefits for the elderly.”
Wow! That has got to be a wake-up call for a lot of folks. Retirement may not be as early a possibility as it once was. There is a growing population of people who are going to need to be more responsible for their own health and health care than ever before.
And that brings up a key point.
We are all ultimately responsible for our own health. We cannot cede that right to any doctor, hospital, drug, or elected official.
Medicine is crisis care. It’s sick care. You need it once something is wrong – once you are ALREADY sick. Can it save your life or keep you alive longer? You bet. But how is the quality of your life at that point? What if we could avoid getting to that point of need?
As a society, we have pumped more and more money into a failed system with failed attempts to achieve health. But failing to eat soup with a fork doesn’t mean to try with a bigger fork! You need to use a different method…
Chronic disease and chronic pain account for the bulk of healthcare expenditures. Chronic conditions most often are “lifestyle related.” Meaning – they didn’t happen overnight. The lifestyle of the individual LED them to the development of that dis-eased state.
Now more than ever, we need to take responsibility for our health. We should not live an unhealthy lifestyle and then expect a doctor, surgeon or the latest pill or potion to step in and save us. We need to embrace elements of health care that emphasize prevention and wellness.
Contrary to public opinion, chiropractic is based on the premise of wellness. It focuses on the removal of stress and interference to the body’s communication pathway – the nervous system. This allows for optimal function. Yes, it can help back pain and headaches. But that is a side benefit, not the main purpose!
Why not increase the quality of our life in proportion to the quantity? Hopefully, we won’t echo Mickey Mantle’s sentiment!
Has it been a while since you’ve been checked by a chiropractor? Are you as healthy as you could be? Why not give us a call – we’re here to help!