Appropriately, I write this blog from the comfort of bed—pillows stacked up behind me, tissue on my right, orange juice on the left, laptop whirring on my arched legs in the beautiful Gaylord Hotel in Orlando, FL. Considering that I flew here specifically to be at the Emerson Global Users Exchange (in amazing Floridian weather whilst my native Wisconsin was getting pummeled by rain and even hail), I couldn’t help but think what a waste.
And when I say that, I by no means mean the event itself, which is proving to be quite valuable, but the fact that I’m here and sick, and not operating at 100 percent, but still expected to perform even if it is my own expectation.
It got me thinking about health care, as well as other health-related proposals both politicians and companies are throwing at the wall, much like spaghetti, just hoping that something eventually sticks. Companies seem to be getting more and more involved in such debate as they realize how important employee health is to their productivity and even overhead as far as health insurance.
Politicians also can’t help but be involved, however preposterous their ideas. I recently read that a Republican senator is pushing an amendment to the current health care bill that discounts private health insurance up to 50 percent for people who lead healthy lifestyles. To that I say, what’s the point of having health insurance then? Some people can’t help their health history—what about them?
Another possibility that has been not only lip service, but also put into play is that companies become more involved in your personal health care issues and affect your health resolutions by incentivizing healthy decision making. Other companies are simply just handing their employees access to services and/or equipment that makes healthy living easier, such as smoking cessation support, fitness programs and gym memberships, etc.
One such example is Bison Gear, an Illinois manufacturer that was just recognized as the “Healthiest Company in America,” winning an award that illustrates its commitment to employee health and well-being with innovative health and wellness initiatives that actually yielded measurable employee health improvements.
Health care is an enormous, overarching issue that I’m afraid only some are interested in enough to do the research, while others rely simply on what is regurgitated through the local evening news. Every company and individual will be affected by what is decided upon—even if nothing comes to fruition, it will affect you. If we do nothing, we’ll sink further into complacency, debt and sickness as a nation. If we do something, we just don’t know what will happen, which can be scary in and of itself.
As of now, one American dies every 12 minutes from lack of health care, according to David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard. And it doesn’t look good for employers either. An article by the Associated Press states, “Costs for employer-provided health plans are expected to rise more than 10 percent within the next 12 months, a jump workers may feel in their paychecks or through changes to their insurance coverage.”
You see it everywhere, whether for or against or for modification in favor of or opposed to—it’s health care and everyone has an opinion. And each thinks his or her opinion is better than the next. But it’s not important what I think, nor is it important what Republican Joe Wilson thinks. It’s important that you at least think.
Where do you stand on the topic of health care? How involved do you want your employer to be in your health issues? What do you think of preventive medicine? How about incentivized health care?
Sound off by sending me an e-mail at [email protected].