Ann Ross: Good health requires individual commitment | SteamboatToday.com
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Ann Ross: Good health requires individual commitment

Most individuals cannot hang out in Steamboat Springs or live in a Blue Zone to find longevity with reasonably good health. I am a fortunate over-65 citizen who is age healthy, perhaps due to genes, food, exercise with no excessive use of tobacco or alcohol.  

That regimen is not difficult to follow even without a gene benefit. Thus, I ask, is society financially capable or should be expected to rescue and serve all health requests? Longevity will probably cause higher medical bills due in part to drug use and professional support. Can society afford intensive, expensive health care without individual lifestyle commitment in the future?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports $1,500 is spent on each obese person. The United States has a 30 percent obese population with that rate projected to increase to 50 percent by 2030. I am not surprised as I see the cases of sugar drinks, snacks and sugar cereals being purchased.

Health costs are rising from tobacco, alcohol, opiate abuse, mental health, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease at an alarmingly speed. Will longevity increase the problem if control is not forth coming?

Education may help but is it cost effective? The work force is decreasing even though there are jobs available. We can support help for jobs yet many are unwilling to work at part-time or temporary jobs as subsides carry them.

Poverty exists for many reasons, but at what point and for how long can society exist and supply if we continue without individual responsibility? Diet and exercise are easy to control anyplace, anytime. Some believe it falls on society’s shoulders to supply health care regardless.

I have read and digested the issue from many vantage points, foreign countries and our great country and still ask the question: at what point is society required to carry health coverage without individual control and input?

Longevity is wonderful if we can use measured responsibility due to drug and professional care increases. Drug companies continue making money as society requests better products.

As a retired pharmacist, I know health care is expensive. Will longer life span place a burden on families that are now working hard to survive?

Health care is not a quick fix. Mickey Mantle said, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d taken better care of myself.” There is no pill to cure excess, excuses or lack of personal responsibility.

Ann Ross

Steamboat Springs


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