I get it. There are huge issues with the system. We have compensation issues (for example: back surgeries, largely ineffective for chronic back pain are easily and handsomely reimbursed, while the same insurance plan does not cover physical therapy, you know, the less expensive less invasive therapy that works). We have so many people without health insurance that it boggles the mind. We have a system run by big business and lawyers (because that’s who we elect as our politicians, people) who have agendas that often seem as remote from the concept of care as possible.
But to paraphrase, the fault, dear Brutus, also lies within ourselves.
Well, there are most certainly these extraneous nefarious forces, but we also contribute a lot to our health care costs. Possibly more than most countries. Consider obesity: a staggering 33.8% of Americans are obese costing us over $147 billion a year. If our obesity rate was simply on par with Canada (22%), think how much that would save us annually?
Being overweight is not the fault of the health care system. It’s not about fault at all, although we have a unique culture that certainly provides the right ingredients. You know, apples more expensive than potato chips. Parents working 2 or 3 jobs and so fucking exhausted at the end of the day that the chemical filled chicken tenders from the freezer will have to do. But at the end of the day, McDonalds only sold Super Size because we bought it. No one really needs 42 ounces of Coke.
So while I applaud all efforts to change the health care system, we could save a lot of money and by also making #occupyhealthcare personal.
If you must have fast food, ask for water instead of a soda.
If budget and time are big issues, think about a crockpot. With some advanced planning there are tons of healthy and inexpensive meals you can throw together in the morning so the food is hot and ready to serve when you walk in the door and are just to exhausted to cook.
If you are overweight commit to losing 5% of your body weight.
Exercise at least 150 minutes a week (as a single mom I’m on a major time crunch so I get 90 of those minutes at lunch time during my work week).
If you smoke, call 1-800-quit-now.
Get your flu vaccine.
Take your medications as prescribed, or if you have issues with your medications, call your doctor now. Don’t wait until your next visit.
Use contraception unless you are planning to get pregnant.
If you are planning to get pregnant, take a prenatal vitamin.
There are thousands of ways we can all #occupyhealthcare.
Because there is no doubt the system needs changing, but we all need to do our part. And not just at the voting booth.