Why is Health Care So Expensive?

Health Care CostsThe United States has the dubious distinction of spending more money on health care for every man, woman, and child than any other country in the world. Just check the graph at the right.

And yet we are far from being the healthiest.

Why is it so expensive? We want to be healthy, but our spending doesn’t seem to be getting us there.

Health Care Costs GCPAnd it’s not only the dollar amounts that are rising. The percent of our GDP that is spent on healthcare continues to rise as well.

How much should we spend on health care? That’s not an easy question to answer. And that discussion will continue to give rise to much debate.

Why does it cost so much? That’s easier to answer, even though it’s not simple.

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Did You Build Your Health?

Senior Working OutPresident Obama stirred up some strong controversy last Friday when he stated in one of his speeches, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

While the politics of that statement have occupied a great deal of the airwaves over the past few days, I have a different take on this controversy. What about your health? Who is responsible for your health or the lack thereof?

What about this: “If you’re healthy, you didn’t do that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Do you really believe that’s true? Who do you want to blame if you’re NOT healthy? And how far are you going to go? What else are you not responsible for?

How about these:

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HALT: Five Ways to Stay Filled Up

Toddler drinking water from hoseWe human beings are needy. It seems like we are always leaking and in need of getting filled up.

Our bodies need water, food, air, exercise, and rest. Disrupt the regular availability of any of these, and you won’t survive very long!

Our minds need stimulation, entertainment, perspective, feedback, humor, and rest. Mess with any of these for very long, and your mind will lose its resilience.

Our souls need communication, intimacy, encouragement, challenge, hope, meaning, depth, joy, and love. And when we don’t experience these, we go looking.

And it’s in the LOOKING that we can get into trouble.

Twelve-step programs have a phrase that illustrates this: Don’t get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. HALT – when these needs are not met, you’re in danger! Your thinking gets cloudy, and you can easily reach for an unhealthy addiction.

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Declare Your Independence

FireworksToday we celebrate American Independence Day, the day our Founding Fathers declared their independence from the British Empire.

And it IS worth celebrating! We appreciate the struggles they went through, the sacrifices they made, and the hard work they endured to build a country based on freedom. Their decision gives us the freedom to celebrate today.

May I remind you that Independence Day was the beginning, not the end. Declaring their independence provoked armed conflict and increased their troubles. Sure, that trauma was temporary, but it was costly! And no one could ensure how long it would take, or even whether their struggle would be successful.

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I Can’t Change Your Life

Thinking Through a DecisionSometimes you hear someone say, “You changed my life!” Perhaps you’ve said it to someone yourself.

But mostly that’s a false statement.

There may be a kernel of truth there, but the larger truth is that I can’t change your life. Nobody else can. It’s up to you!

We get into a lot of trouble when we wait for someone else to change something for us. The real truth is that no government program can fix you. No professional can fix you. No spouse or parent or friend can fix you.

And even God can’t fix you!

At the risk of sounding blasphemous, let me clarify.

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