Sunday, December 16, 2012

Health Care Reform - Make it Meaningful


“Health Care” and “Health Care Reform” is a debate that will affect all of our lives as Americans and one that can provide life changing opportunities for us as fitness professionals.  I have a personal story that has me convinced and serves as a reference for all of us. 
Tostart,  I want to state that I believe the best solution to the current health care finance debate is to have a free market competitive system with apublic option.  As a business owner raised in the American system of free and open competition, I believe this is better than a single payer system. 
I believe in the public option because if and when I’m in the position of needing insurance, I’ll have providers competing for my business.  
Currently,when someone in my situation (Type 2 diabetic) applies for insurance coverage,I answer the diabetic question “yes”, and they raise the cost of the program. No further questions.   I'm grouped into a very high risk group that companies view as expensive to care for. In a competitive environment with a public option, the screening question is asked and answered the same; but there is a next question. "Do you check your sugar levels on a regular basis?" Well Yes, I do!   “Do you exercise?”  Well Yes, I do!  “Can you document these things?”  Well Yes, I can!  My genetics may put me in one group, but my documentable behaviors really mean something far more important.
Regardless of whether diabetes or another chronic or potentially costly personal health issue is part of your equation, we all know the effect of exercise.  This is the where our opportunity to make a difference and benefit professionally from doing so comes in.  With the ability for us to provide evidence of exercise compliance, the ability to document meaningful evidence of"healthier" clients, and the ability to keep them committed to a beneficial fitness “prescription”, we as fitness professionals can be elevated to Wellness Professionals and Preventive Care allies to a growing universe of needy parties – from Uncle Sam to our next door neighbor.
So how’s it feel to be at the center of the solution that represents TRUE "health care reform"?

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