B.I.T.E. #11 — The Big Picture

I know it has been a while since my last post. One of the reasons for this is I continue to get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information coming at us each and every day surrounding this healthcare reform debate. As the details continue to unfold around the bills that have been introduced so far out of Washington are we losing sight of the big picture? I think we can safely say that no matter what the final outcome surrounding healthcare reform, healthcare in this country along with health insurance in this country is going to cost us something. There is no way that healthcare is going to be free. Whether it remains totally unchanged (which I firmly believe is not going to happen) or a public option ends up being introduced, they are both going to cost us money out of our pockets. That being said, what I think we need to focus our attention on in the big picture is the issue of freedom. Freedom to choose our doctors, freedom to choose our health insurance plans, freedom to make health care decisions about ourselves and our families with our doctors, freedom from rationing of care , freedom from unnecessary tax increases. Anything within healthcare reform that messes with any of these freedoms in the wrong way needs to be avoided. The free market system that has allowed us to become the great nation that we are given the chance will produce the best solutions that maintain these freedoms at costs that can be afforded.

Maintaining these freedoms can only be possible in the long term if we as a nation get healthy and stay healthy. When looking at the big picture we must pay attention to the one fact that everyone can agree on, based on the current path we are on as Americans no system can support the weight of our collective unhealthiness. Therefore, any solutions that are being offered throughout this healthcare reform debate must have workable and realistic wellness solutions along with the tools and incentives required for Americans to redirect their lifestyles by changing their behavior in a way that will positively affect their health and well-being. We are kidding ourselves if we think that by making any modifications to health insurance and the health care system without effectively addressing the issue of getting healthy and staying healthy that we will be able to maintain these freedoms. (Remember, I’m talking about lifestyle choices that everybody no matter what kind of genes you have can decide to change.)

I read an article today written by Grace-Marie Turner that addresses recent polls in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the New York Times on Americans and what they want in their health care reform. The title of the article is “Americans Do Want Health Care Reform”. Do you want freedom and liberty? Or do you want apparent security without freedom? Which camp are you in?

When dealing with a topic like health insurance and healthcare reform the complexities are mind boggling. As we begin to see the specific details of the plans coming out of Washington (HR 3200 which is over 1000 pages long) it is easy to lose sight of the big picture and the thing that most Americans hold near and dear to their hearts, FREEDOM!

I have a question for you, how do you boil a bullfrog? When I first heard this question I was puzzled because I knew as a young boy catching and releasing many frogs and bullfrogs that it seemed almost an impossibility that anybody could ever boil a bullfrog. Bullfrogs are strong and fast jumpers, and if you were to take a pot of water and bring the water to the boiling point, the minute you dropped a bullfrog into the boiling water it would jump out of the hot water as quickly as you put it in. However, if you were to take the same pot and put some nice cool refreshing water into the pot and placed a bullfrog into the water gently. Then as you proceed to incrementally turn up the heat on the water eventually the big old bullfrog would get drowsy and begin to fall asleep. As soon as that bullfrog was to fall asleep, you could turn up the heat ever so slowly until eventually the water is boiling and the bullfrog is completely cooked! As our country reforms health care let’s not lose sight of the big picture, because in the big picture our freedom is just like the bullfrog, if we’re not careful we may fall asleep and our freedom will get cooked!

Matthew Berrafato

Elephant Hunter