economicmultipliers_57

Economic Multipliers (57)
Do you know what these are?
They help CREATE wealth in systems.
Healthy kids are an economic multiplier for any community and any nation.
 
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I’ve never used birth control, been pregnant nor had any children.  Today, those might be the greatest health care expenses for young women.
 
Since those expenses have never been expenses for me, why should I care whether those expenses (or any other services that I might never use) would be covered under any health insurance plan?  (If I am only for me, what am I?)
 
Technically, I don’t.
 
But, I do care about whether the community I live in and the nation I live in has as many healthy kids and adults as possible.
 
I’m selfish.
 
I enjoy watching kids run and play and laugh who have a relatively easy time learning and doing things.  I enjoy seeing older people out biking and hiking and leading active, healthy lives.  I like it when middle aged people are able to keep up with their kids and still enjoy many of the same activities that they enjoyed when they were young.
 
I also enjoy knowing that people don’t have a lot of extra expenses that tie to health care problems.
 
It does not bother me to say that illness comes with a lot of extra work … and quite honestly, I don’t like a lot of extra work.  (Do you?)
 
I will always freely admit that I am selfish:  I like healthy people, people who help others stay healthy and people who go out of their way to stay as healthy as possible even if illness or some handicap has set them back a bit.
 
Now, no woman or girl has ever told me that they wanted to know more about or have access to birth control (I’ve never worked in the medical field and don’t have daughters so I wouldn’t have expected any to).
 
But, if any ever did (and they weren’t in a monogamous, committed relationship) … I would immediately say to myself:  This individual is going to take some risks.  If that is the case, they at least need the medical monitoring (particularly for sexually transmitted diseases) that goes along with obtaining birth control.  Unfortunately, men and boys don’t instantaneously get this medical monitoring if they use condoms but they do reduce their potential for getting sexually transmitted diseases.
 
I’m not particularly interested in joining the debate related to the pros and cons (or morality) of including things in health insurance plans that people might ask for when they go to the doctor.
 
But I am interested in filling communities and nations with physically, mentally and emotionally healthy adults and kids (know that a certain percentage of adults and kids will always have some health problems but it’s supposed to be a SMALL percentage).  Therefore, this is what I believe:
  • If a woman (or girl) wants to get birth control pills, she is not ready to be a mother (or she doesn’t think her partner is ready to be a father).  If she (or he) is not ready to be a mother (or father), even if her kids are physically healthy, she (and the father) may not have the ability to make sure their kids are mentally and emotionally healthy.  Whether I think she should be having sex or not is irrelevant:  She is already making choices … and always keep in mind that there is a man or a boy on the other end of this choice.  Accessing the health care system for birth control pills may be the only way to make sure that the community is protected from sexually transmitted diseases (especially if the male component does not show up in the health care system).
  • If health insurance plans cover Viagra or other ‘enhancement’ drugs for men, women who have sex with them should be using some sort of birth control method (which means that health insurance plans should also cover that).  If you study probabilities, you know that by the time people start having health problems, their bodies have undergone some genetic changes.  It stands to reason that you would not want a woman to get pregnant by a man who had ‘weaker sperm’ who would not be able to engage in sex without ‘help.’  I’d expect that any children of those men would have more health problems throughout their lives on the whole.
When people think they should be taking care of their own health (every component:  physical, mental and emotional) AND think they should also be helping everyone else take care of theirs, it’s a lot easier imagining that a community or nation would be able to afford the health care costs for all of its citizens.  Since birth control is available, it’s a medical and personal (and yes, moral) choice, just as the use of Viagra or other performance enhancing drugs is.
 
Me:  I’m just selfish and lazy.  I want a community and nation chock full of physically, mentally and emotionally healthy adults and kids.
 
I think the debate about excluding birth control in health insurance plans today actually lacks balance and if the balance were there, there wouldn’t be any debate.
 
Any plan that would want to exclude birth control would also need to exclude a whole host of other things:
  • Artificial insemination … it’s not natural.
  • Organ transplants … they’re not natural.
  • Pregnancies by men who use performance enhancing drugs … they’re not natural (perhaps abortions would be included in health insurance policies for these cases … now that’s a backwards argument for the ‘moral’ crowd).
  • Childhood asthma cases for children of smokers or parents who leave their children in the care of smokers.  (You can’t really expect a health insurance company to pay for an expense that a parent would promote or provoke, can you? … How could you say an asthma attack was ‘natural’ if you left a child in the care of a smoker?)
  • Etc., etc., etc.
Imagine how many items a health insurance company might choose to NOT cover if they started ‘cherry picking’ based on their ‘selective’ morality.
 
I have no stake in the birth control debate other than I’m lazy.  I’m certainly not ‘moral enough’ to think that I should be telling everyone else what they should be doing.
 
But if you ever want me to worry about birth control pills (or other drugs), talk to me at the tap (the water tap, that is).  I read one time that fertility problems in young people in Europe might be partially linked to the residuals of other’s birth control pills AND other drugs that are ending up in water supplies.
 
The medical community can tell you lots of ways to make health care more affordable:
  • Would you be willing to submit yearly blood and urine samples for screening for diabetes, STD’s, drug use and any other problems that the medical profession has identified as a ‘standard’ problem in regard to maintaining healthy communities?  (Note that I haven’t got a clue as to how to deal with the ‘privacy’ issues and ‘Frankenstein’ doctors (individuals who might see human beings as ‘parts’ that they should have access to instead of people who should have access to them).)
  • Would you support higher tax brackets for individuals who purposely create ‘health risks’ (physical, mental or emotional) for others?
  • Would you take the time to ask, every time you see kids being given sugary food or drinks, whether they have a choice of something that makes more nutritional sense?
Yes.  I am selfish.  I like people, including me but especially kids … to be healthy.
 
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Since ‘morality’ truly is in the ‘eye of the beholder’ and I never linked up with a suitable guy for me in my ‘child bearing’ years, I’m going to ask a thought provoking question:
 
Would a society ever have the right to compel individuals to ‘bank’ their eggs or their sperm so ALL other people had access to it?
 
What if I had wanted the sperm of some guy who I expected would never hook up with me so I could have had a child and even better, what if I had wanted to personally select the guy?:  Guys have millions of sperm cells so should it matter to them?
 
And, if that guy had any kind of health problem in the future, should they have any legal right to find out about any of their ‘children’ and whether their children could and would help them in some way medically?  And, given all the advances in medicine, could any of their ‘children’ be legally compelled to help them if the selected procedure had little or no risk?
 
Science will always offer up all sorts of challenges, moral and otherwise.
 
Would YOU ever want to become someone’s ‘targeted’ donor?
 
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I will always believe that paying people (health insurance companies) money so that they can pay people who deliver NO health care to do a lot of paperwork (and cause a lot of other people to do a lot of paperwork) is a waste of a nation’s assets but I also know that a nation can’t afford to take care of the health needs of everyone if people don’t make a commitment to taking care of their (and others) health.
 
Imagine how much exercise people could get or how much time they could spend with their kids and grandkids or on volunteer work if they didn’t have to push a lot of paper around.  And, since health insurance comes with a lot of paperwork and we know that Alzheimer’s disease is a looming problem, has anyone figured out how much it’s going to cost just to do the health insurance paperwork for those people?  They aren’t going to be able to do it for themselves.
 
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To understand just how ‘strange’ and backwards I think all the debates are related to health insurance in the United States, know that many health insurance policies must now (I’m writing this on 03/30/12) cover children under family policies until they are 26 years old.
 
If I was a parent with good health insurance covering the health insurance of a daughter below that age who was ready to and responsible enough to have children (but had not yet found a suitable spouse), I would encourage her to get pregnant through artificial insemination in that ‘age window’ while she was still able to take advantage of my health insurance policy.
 
I would prefer that she be happily married to a nice young man and they had their own health insurance.  I would prefer that they had their own kids and built their lives together as a ‘family unit.’  And I would prefer that they had a LOT of community support so that their marriage would be a joy for both of them and last a lifetime.
 
But the structure of the current health insurance system has convinced me that young women who have a hard time finding a suitable spouse might better spend their time establishing their ‘family.'
 
Normally, women who have kids outside of marriage are poorer throughout their lives than those who are able to establish a solid ‘family’ foundation within a marriage.
 
But keep in mind that the caveat here was that I was a financially stable parent with good health insurance … and because of that, at least in the United States, my young daughter wouldn’t become poor because she got pregnant.
 
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Because of all the advances in medicine, I think that all nations around the world which desire to contribute to the genetic stability and future health of mankind should ‘nationalize’ the collection of ‘afterbirths,’ making sure they are properly stored while identifying the best uses for helping future generations stay healthy (I’ve never been one for pulling kids apart … no matter how small they seem).
 
Truth be told, I think there are enough ‘mad scientists’ in the world who could screw a lot of things up and I believe there are enough building blocks (and information) in those afterbirths that if mankind ever needs to deal with whole segments of the population that ‘go haywire,’ the building blocks and the information will still exist to do so.