While there are other issues I would add (which I may address later in a follow up post), these 5 definitely do deserve some attention, and it is interesting that they are being so ignored by the major candidates as well as the media.
I guess it's because none of these issues have easy answers, or at least, none that will fit neatly into a campaign soundbite!
Why do you think these 5 issues are being neglected? And are there others you would add? Read the post, then let me know in the comments below.
However, despite all this discussion of healthcare, somehow none of the candidates are addressing the five major health issues that have the greatest impact on the greatest number of Americans.
1. The skyrocketing cost of medical care.
No matter what changes are made to the health insurance world, the fact remains that medical costs are spiraling out of control. As costs continue to rise, employers are finding ways to shift more of their costs to employees, meaning that more and more patients are faced with paying higher premiums, higher deductibles, and a larger share of their medical bills out-of-pocket.
Until someone addresses the root of the problem, the rising cost of health care will continue to put more and more of a burden on people like you and me.
2. Prescription drug costs & safety
If you think the cost of medical care is high, just wait until you are prescribed a new medication... The cost of prescription drugs is nothing short of outrageous, with price increases occurring regularly even for existing medications, and newer drugs boasting higher and higher price tags. One drug manufacturer was even called before Congress after increasing the price for their drug, Daraprim, by 4,000%!
Another related issue is drug safety. Far too many drugs are rushed to market without adequate long-term testing, only to discover side effects that are potentially worse than the condition the drug was initially prescribed for! (Remember Celebrex?)
As the Boomer generation ages, Medicare costs are likely to climb, putting even more pressure on this program to provide for the health needs of our senior citizens. Meanwhile, the Republican ticket proposes to privatize Medicare, thus forcing private insurers to handle the price increase (and who do you think will end up ultimately footing the bill?). Medicare faces a number of other challenges as well - all of which are likely to impact you and me in the long run.
4. Long-Term Care
If you're fairly young and have not yet had to deal with the care of an aging parent or relative, long-term care is something you may not have thought much about.
But you will...
As the Baby Boomer generation ages, long-term care is set to become one of the most troubling financial problems of our time. With current costs for full-time long-term care facilities at upwards of $200,000 per year, this is not an issue that we will be able to ignore for much longer.
Medicare doesn't cover long-term care costs, and Medicaid has very stringent requirements in order to qualify for long-term care coverage. Private long-term care insurance is riddled with problems such as gaps in coverage, and the coverage itself can also be prohibitively expensive for many people.
5. Dental Care
This topic may not seem as pressing as some of the other issues listed above, but in fact it is now common knowledge that neglected dental issues can turn into much more serious health problems over time. Inflammation from ongoing dental disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimers - all health issues which can be deadly and very expensive to treat. Preventing these problems by addressing dental health early may seem like a no-brainer, but many insurers no longer offer dental insurance, and many existing dental plans are somewhat limited in what they will cover, leaving many people to fend for themselves when it comes to regular preventative dental care.
I could add a few more issues to this list myself, but for now, I will just let you ponder the ridiculousness of an electoral system in which more attention is paid to hand size, soup, and and whether someone "sounds presidential" than to the actual problems facing the citizens of our country every day.
In the meantime, I will continue to bring you words of truth and empowerment to help you take control of your own health. In light of the issues mentioned above, it is more important than ever that we take responsibility for the state of our own health, and learn how to stay healthy - and keep our families healthy as well! It's obvious that our "leadership" isn't all that concerned for our well-being, so it's up to us.
Yours, in truth & health,