Sunday, March 14, 2010

We, the People Can Heal America

Poppies blooming in the Southwest

I don't know about you, but I think it's frightening what's going on with this health care bill and the billions and billions of dollars that are being thrown around like chump change. So I've decided to throw out my two cents as Mrs. Average American who is advocating paying attention to a lot of things anyway. This isn't a 4,000 page document; it's pretty simple, requires hard work, will take some time to see the results, but in the end is really a large part of the only answer that makes sense.

It isn't a 100% fix, but if we could accomplish at least this, we can have our America back again, the way our founding fathers intended it.

So here goes:

1. No amount of money is going to fix health care. But what if we, the people, made as much of an effort at getting healthy again as we make at work every day? What if we make it our job to regain good health? Being at a healthy weight, eating only healthy foods, exercising almost every day and just paying attention to how we are doing will, over time, reduce disease, reduce health insurance experience which will in turn reduce premiums. And this, as uncomfortable as it may seem, will also require peer pressure on those around us who aren't taking personal responsibility for their own health in any way.

2. What if we the people worked with health insurance companies to lower the cost of maintenance drugs and treatments - the ones that assist us in never getting to that heart attack, stroke, full-blown diabetes, kidney failure, asthma, etc. If they were cheap enough for anyone to afford, most people would take them and vastly reduce the number of expensive medical procedures in this country covered by the same health insurance companies. Instead of paying billions of dollars to treat the symptoms of an expensive health care system, let's use a very small fraction of that to reduce the cost of maintenance medications and treatments? If we actually did this and people really did what they are supposed to do, even the number of maintenance drugs needed will go down over time.

3. We, the people can choose to cap medical malpractice liability and lower malpractice insurance premiums so good doctors can practice again. These insurance companies are still run privately, not by the government. They can choose to do this on their own, or someday they may not have the luxury of choosing.

4. We, the people need to stop borrowing money and live within our means. That includes us personally as well as our government.

5. We, the people need to give our children the quality and quantity time they need. Parents, take back our roles as parents, not friends, buddies or absentee guardians.

6. We, the people can vote in legislators who can vote to pay teachers what they deserve so they can teach our future generations how to be smart, productive, upstanding citizens. Pay them well so people who could be great teachers don't choose some other profession over teaching only because they can't afford the low pay.

7. We, the people can choose to act ethically and honestly again.

8. We, the people can start taking care of our own and stop expecting government to fill the gap. We used to do that fifty years ago before welfare. Let's support the churches and the nonprofits not only financially but by giving of ourselves and our time.

9. We, the people can decide that we are responsible for our own lives and stop looking for a handout, expecting others to take care of us. Hard, honest work grows many fruits.

So, these are my offerings. You could probably add to them - please feel free! Like I said, it isn't going to fix everything, but if we could make these changes, we might not have to fix everything. Maybe things would start fixing themselves. Can we try?