Mary Korch: Take responsibility to improve personal health |

Mary Korch: Take responsibility to improve personal health

Stuart Butler’s presentation about the future of healthcare at Seminars at Steamboat was excellent with many good points and thoughts. He lightly touched on improving non-medical services such as home improvements for the elderly to prevent falls. But he didn’t mention unhealthy habits and modifiable risk conditions.

Many costly health conditions could be controlled or prevented such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. The big question is should society subsidize the health costs of people who are victims of self-inflicted medical conditions that are associated with unhealthy habits, which could be modified or eliminated?

Undeniably, poor lifestyle choices can create health issues that drive up health care costs as well as costs of things we buy and consume. A steady healthy diet and regular exercise could greatly improve overall health, which would reduce doctors and urgent care visits which, in turn, could help  reduce costs of insurance.

Expanding access to health care alone, without personal responsibility and accountability, will do little to reduce health costs. Breaking bad lifestyle habits is challenging. But taking personal responsibility will help improve our overall heath, lower costs and even empower us in our daily lives.

Mary Korch

Steamboat Springs