On Day One of the implementation of the health care exchanges under the Affordable Health Care Act, or, Obamacare, I was in San Francisco as a guest at a board meeting for one of the biggest health care plans in the nation.
Most of the conversations were about the private insurance side, not the health care exchanges, but what I found most fascinating was the cost of health care in America compared with other nations. I spent a lot of time talking to a doctor who was born and raised in India. He came from relative wealth in a poor country, but he said despite his and other families’ means, people in his country don’t spend so much money at the end of life trying to prolong it.
He told the time he was working in an emergency room on the East Coast. He got a call about an incoming patient in cardiac arrest. The hospital was technologically advanced, so he had a detailed copy of the man’s file before the patient arrived. Before the man was wheeled in, this doc knew that the man was 93, in frail health, and had been treated for a decade for a life-threatening illness.
The man was basically nonresponsive upon arrival. Yet, when the doctor reached the man’s a son, living in another state, the son said, “Do everything you can to save him. I haven’t seen my dad in 10 years.”
This is one story, but I have to believe it gets played out more than once in hospitals across the country day after day.
We spend so much money trying to extend that life at the end, instead of making informed decisions ahead of old age or the onset of chronic illness. Almost 30 percent of Medicare’s budget goes to care for patients in their last year of life.
Granted, with the advances that have been made in areas such as cancer treatment in the last 10 years, it’s possible to cure a lot more people than ever before. But the costs can be astronomically high and the odds of long- term survival are exceedingly slim.
Let’s make better decisions for the end of life by making better choices earlier.
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy