Honor in Healthcare

The Skilled Veterans Corps in Japan is a group of retirees, 60 and older, who have volunteered to take the place of young workers at the site of the catastrophic nuclear meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi plant.  Masaaki Takahashi, a member of the group, is humble about his sacrifice, understanding that the young have more to lose than the old from radiation exposure.  “We’re doing nothing special,” he says.  “I simply think I have to do something and I can’t allow just young people to do this.”

Takahashi’s character harkens back to the twelfth century—a time when the samurai dominated feudal Japan with a sense of honor as keen as their blades were sharp.  Honor-bound to protect the defenseless, a samurai would never dither in drawing his Shinogi-Zukuri katana in defense of a child, even against an army of marauders that meant certain death.  To a samurai, the way in which one died was equal in importance to the way in which one lived.  He would never sacrifice the lives of his sons and daughters to save his own.  To see the Skilled Veterans Corps keeping this tradition of honor alive is refreshing, in our modern world where honor has become so rare.

We would all do well to realize such honor, in the small things and in the big things: the ding on the car door without a note, subway seats filled with able-bodied men whist a pregnant woman is stuck standing, a neighbor leaving their dog’s business on another’s yard.  Nowhere, though, are we more lacking in honor than in our healthcare system.  With Medicare’s 75-year unfunded liability reaching a staggering $30.8 trillion dollars, we are doing the opposite of what is honorable: we are sacrificing our sons and daughters for the misguided hope of receiving more care for ourselves today.  Government’s handiwork has killed consumer choice and the pricing mechanism, resulting in skyrocketing prices and flat-lining quality.  ObamaCare is sure to make matters even worse, with its 2000 pages of legislation and just as many exemptions being bandied about as political favors these days.  The sad thing is, it needn’t be this way.  We can all have access to plenty of high-quality healthcare and cutting-edge technology, but to achieve this we must start acting with honor and we must not flinch from the difficult questions.

What is the value of a human life?  Who lives?  Who dies?  Where?  How?  Which treatments?  Which innovations?  At what prices?  These are just a few examples of the hard questions that must be answered.  They cannot be escaped.  Someone must answer them: either you and me, or the men and women on Capitol Hill, the likes of Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi.  I opt for you and me.  For too many years we have been content to abdicate our responsibility to government.  It just didn’t seem right for us, through free markets, to determine matters of life and death, but what we got for giving control to government was higher costs, lower quality, more death and less life.

Consider the power of our free markets in consumer goods (free relatively speaking that is), and then try to justify not using this power in the ever more important realm of healthcare.  Cellphones, televisions and cars are just a few examples.  We have over 300 million mobile phones currently in use.  That’s about one phone per person.  We have about 250 million televisions in the United States.  That’s more than two per household.  We have 250 million registered vehicles in the United States.  That’s more than two per household.

Not only do we all have mobile phones, televisions and cars, the ones we have today are better than yesterday’s.  Our fifty-inch plasma screens make the twelve-inch cathode-ray tubes of ten years ago look silly.  Our iPhones make us reconsider the use of the word “mobile” in describing the clunkers of the past.  And our GPS-enabled cars let us forget about the all too familiar paper maps and fights with our passengers.  Now we have our pick of copilots—and their accents—and some cars even drive themselves, such as the ones used by Google to build Google Maps.

The free markets have delivered high-quality goods at low prices, and innovation races at such breakneck-speeds that we even have commercials making fun of it: a man purchases the next generation technology only to see an advertisement for the next next generation tech before even getting from the store to his vehicle.

There’s no reason for healthcare to be any different.  Instead, we have a perverse system where a single retiree can demand hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical treatment to prolong his old age by another few months, all funded by our children.  A samurai would have performed seppuku before living at the expense of involuntary victims.  They knew how to die with dignity.  The government has walked us down this trail of dishonor, and we have followed, hand-in-hand.  Sadly, by hoping so hard to make healthcare a right, we have succeeded only in making it less of one.

As the samurai say, “Go into battle expecting to die, and you will surely live.  Go into battle hoping to live, and surely you shall not.”  It is time we captured some of this honor.  It is time we took responsibility for our own healthcare choices and confronted the hard decisions boldly.  By doing so, we will live longer, we will live better.

VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
Rating: 9.9/10 (8 votes cast)
Honor in Healthcare, 9.9 out of 10 based on 8 ratings
0saves
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Healthcare and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Honor in Healthcare

  1. Danneskjold says:

    “They say Japan was made by a sword. They say the old gods dipped a coral blade into the ocean, and when they pulled it out four perfect drops fell back into the sea, and those drops became the islands of Japan. I say, Japan was made by a handful of brave men. Warriors, willing to give their lives for what seems to have become a forgotten word: honor.”

    -Simon Graham,The Last Samurai

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 4.8/5 (5 votes cast)
  2. Nick says:

    Honor is an almost forgotten word in American society as well. This is largely due to the fact that a prerequisite for honor is accountability. And we Americans have made a sport out of dodging accountability – we constantly pass the buck.
    If one gets hurt, in any way, the knee-jerk reaction is to look for deep pockets to sue, regardless of whether one’s actions were the cause of the injury.
    If one causes harm to others, the instinct is to look for something else to blame it on, rather than admit fault of one’s own.
    If one cannot secure work through merit or demonstrating a good work ethic, one looks to the government to pay for their needs.
    If one cannot save and plan responsibly for their older age, one looks to the youth of the nation to prop them up (through government programs).
    If one cannot practice basic preventative healthcare such as brushing their teeth, or not over-eating to the point of obesity, one looks to hospitals to solve their self-created woes (and to the might government to pay for it).

    These men and women in Japan understand that one must accept the consequences – good or bad, direct or indirect – of their actions:

    “Kazuko Sasaki, 69, the co-founder of the group, says she has a number of personal reasons why she wants to work at the plant. “My generation, the old generation, promoted the nuclear plants. If we don’t take responsibility, who will?”
    (http://articles.cnn.com/2011-05-31/world/japan.nuclear.suicide_1_nuclear-plant-seniors-group-nuclear-crisis?_s=PM:WORLD)

    If Americans held themselves accountable for their actions, the entire country would be different. As an extension, they would likely hold politicians responsible for their actions as well, as opposed to re-electing the same individuals that continue to play dangerous games of pushing the accountability of their irresponsible actions off to the next generation, or the one after that.

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (7 votes cast)
  3. Joy says:

    I don’t get it. Aren’t the children the ones without honor for not wanting to take care of their parents? Respect your elders, right? There’s no honor in getting rid of Medicare, which is what this article proposes. Lets just leave a bunch of old people dying on the streets. That’s what the article says.

    VA:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 3.5/5 (4 votes cast)
  4. Elizabeth Price says:

    Trey, this is quite a strong point of view. Nice. Cool samurai image. But in light of your article, have you considered that it may look like a young person about to give an “honorable death” to an old person? Was that your intent?

    Your reference that “a single retiree can demand hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical treatment to prolong his old age by another few months, all funded by our children” struck me as troubling and perhaps a little harsh. This retiree paid into the system his/her entire life. If the government is guilty of a massive Ponzi scheme, let’s blame the government, not bash the retiree.

    Using Health Care to help us get well when we are sick is one thing. Using Health Care to decide Who lives, Who dies, What is the value of a human life, is another thing. I’m not saying these are not valid questions worthy of our utmost and humble attention. I’m just concerned that the honor in my death will be taken from me, if the decisions surrounding it are taken away from me.

    Trey, if your parents are still alive, I’m not sure you can write this from the perspective of “we are sacrificing our sons and daughters for the misguided hope of receiving more care for ourselves today.” Today’s care you are talking about is for your parents, maybe even your grandparents.

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 4.5/5 (4 votes cast)
  5. Trey says:

    “This retiree paid into the system his/her entire life. If the government is guilty of a massive Ponzi scheme, let’s blame the government, not bash the retiree.”

    Though the retiree paid into the system, the retiree did not pay in enough to cover the expected value of his medical care. That’s the problem.

    I don’t mind people taking money from the government if the government is giving it out. It would be silly not to. The problem is when people vote for government to continue behaving in such an unprincipled fashion, which is what most retirees do. Medicare is the sacred cow of politics because retirees would never vote to phase it out. Maybe if retirees realized how dishonorable their vote was, they would change it.

    “I’m just concerned that the honor in my death will be taken from me, if the decisions surrounding it are taken away from me.”

    In a free market the decision is always yours and yours alone, which is why the free market is preferable to any alternative.

    “Today’s care you are talking about is for your parents, maybe even your grandparents.”

    Indeed, which is why children should be free to voluntary care for their parents and grandparents, as I most certainly would do. The problem is that government makes this a lot more difficult when they take my money to pay for *other* parents’ and grandparents’ medical care first. Each family should take care of itself or rely on private charity and friends. No one is entitled to receive medical care purchased at the barrel of a gun…

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
  6. Elizabeth Price says:

    I agree with you—maybe not how you are saying it, but with what you are saying—and I hope you can play a role in the difficult job of getting us out of this mess. I believe the government should never have gotten into the healthcare “insurance” business and should never have required everyone to pay into this misguided scheme. Now, the national debate needs to be solution driven.

    Finding the right tone to get everyone on the same page is a challenge. I’m not sure how far you will get accusing retirees of being dishonorable. It certainly gave me a knee-jerk reaction, and I’m not even to retirement age. But your more gentle approach really struck home with me:

    “[C]hildren should be free to voluntary care for their parents and grandparents, as I most certainly would do. The problem is that government makes this a lot more difficult when they take my money to pay for other parents’ and grandparents’ medical care first.”

    I would sacrifice my life for my children and for my precious granddaughter. Please recognize that the biggest losers here are the “retirees” who were forced to pay into the system and now face the reality that they will not receive Medicare after all—what for many would be their only access to healthcare. Setting up and knocking down a straw man, with the image of a decrepit hundred-year-old (you didn’t say that outright) “demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical treatment to prolong his old age by another few months,” perhaps isn’t the best approach for getting retirees on board to abolish Medicare.

    This bitter pill would be easier to swallow if the government would give everyone back all the money they have paid into Medicare plus interest (minus the amount of any medical expenses they have already received through Medicare). Medicare could then be cancelled today. No need for a phase-out at the expense of anyone. You can speak for the young people; I think retirees would be thrilled with this solution. Just give us our money back. That would have been a good use of the stimulus package funds. Would there have been enough money to do this?

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 4.5/5 (4 votes cast)
  7. Trey says:

    A Medicare reimbursement would be a great idea, and would be cheaper than the alternative of keeping Medicare in place. The problem though would be that seniors, if Medicare were removed, would no longer be insurable, particularly those with preexisting conditions. And the money they received in reimbursements would not cover their expenses. So I don’t think this would ever fly politically, unfortunately. The solution has to be some sort of phase out, which would come at the expense of near retirees, predominately. And not surprisingly near retirees oppose this…

    Which goes to the heart of the issue and why the article took the tone it did. It’s not to get the near retirees on board with change. It is to call them out on what they are doing, this entitlement society of ours, in the hopes that enough people from other demographics will eventually be mobilized to overcome the near retiree interest group vote.

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
  8. Trey says:

    And I think Nick said it well. We are dealing with an entitled no accountability society. That is the problem at its core. And as harsh as it may sound to name the problem of dishonor, that is more an issue with the subject itself rather than any particular chosen tone. It is what it is. We should not report the sky as clear simply so as not to offend, when in fact the sky is dark and cloudly.

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
  9. Elizabeth Price says:

    I was originally taken aback by what I perceived as harsh rhetoric towards retirees, and honestly I didn’t understand where this was coming from. Then, I watched the news over the weekend. Now, I get it. Seeing groups of near-retirees in meetings with congressmen or attending what to me looked like publicity-stunt speeches, chanting who-knows-what and gloating that no one is going to mess with their Medicare, was so unseemly, and yes “dishonorable,” I felt embarrassed and ashamed. This is not a group I can identify with. Clearly, I live in a bubble. It doesn’t matter that my friends and I have all paid thousands and thousands of dollars in taxes for Medicare, this is not something we wish for our children or grandchildren. Would we like our money back? Yes. Would we demand the younger generations continue paying into this sham? Absolutely not. Looks like I am only speaking for a very few near-retirees. My apologies.

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
  10. gantiross says:

    of your book.This can be a simple email course, a download, or other useful tool that they can get, just for stopping by way of my website and subscribing to my mailing list.
    3.Generate extra income with internet links.Don’t limit you to ultimately promoting your own products and services within your current ebook.Include links to alternative “recommended resources” or even reviews of other solutions.Find products and services that match the main topic of the ebook and include your associate links for every single.Every time frame someone makes a purchase based using one of a recommendations you can earn a good commission regarding that sales.
    4.Sell a person’s other of your book.This can be a simple email course, a download, or other useful tool that they can get, just for stopping by way of my website and subscribing to my mailing list.

    3.Generate extra income with internet links.Don’t limit you to ultimately promoting your own products and services within your current ebook.Include links to alternative “recommended resources” or even reviews of other solutions.Find products and services that match the main topic of the ebook and include your associate links for every single.Every time frame someone makes a purchase based using one of a recommendations you can earn a good commission regarding that sales.

    4.Sell a person’s other merchandise.While a person’s ebook have to contain actually useful information and facts, you should never shy from the including backlinks to other goods you give, especially once they are related to the topic you will be writing on the subject of.Since you’ve already given quality information and established yourself as a knowledgeable powerful resource about your topic, people are likely to listen into a subtle “plug” pertaining to other goods you provide you with.

    I usually include a page and also two associated with additional tools or info on my products at the end of my best book.

    5.Make money from direct gross sales.Finally, you can cash with by offering, instead of freely giving, your new ebook.If you’re topic is a bed that really hobbies your sector, and you can write a reputable sales notification, you can sell a person’s manuscript right.

    It’s not uncommon for a digital book in PDF format to trade for as much as $97 if the information is really high through quality in addition to attracts a niche market.

    Don’t let the thought of writing your own book threaten you clear of this incredible possibility for increase a sales and traffic.Remember, you don’t have to be fancy, or even eloquent.Just write the way you speak.Express yourself your ideas clearly and provide quality information whilst your ebook is sure to be a hit.

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  11. gantiross says:

    orrible results from a particular insulted modern society.Marketing novels are jam packed with examples prefer these.Like David Ogilvy, identified as the Parent of Selling, states, “If you making the effort persuade people to do a thing, or buy something, it it seems to me utilize their words, the language when they think”.
    COMMUNICATION
    This tool is elementary.Consumers don’t envy “marketed to”.Very, they want to be “communicated with”.Wonderful marketing correspondence creates value with goal customers, speaks with their language and additionally tells a stororrible results from a particular insulted modern society.Marketing novels are jam packed with examples prefer these.Like David Ogilvy, identified as the Parent of Selling, states, “If you making the effort persuade people to do a thing, or buy something, it it seems to me utilize their words, the language when they think”.

    COMMUNICATION

    This tool is elementary.Consumers don’t envy “marketed to”.Very, they want to be “communicated with”.Wonderful marketing correspondence creates value with goal customers, speaks with their language and additionally tells a story.It’s approximately building long-lasting, trustworthy, and productive relationships together with customers.Like Seth Godin states, it’s about reinforcing all the lies that consumers explain to themselves everyday (i.ice.I look more desirable in these jeans via Abercrombie; individuals make others look sexy).

    TRANSFORMATION

    Marketing seriously isn’t a business function, but a task.There is mostly a beginning, middle section, but there may never an end.Marketers must constantly TRANSFORMATION as the community changes.Collectively never be afraid to make an effort something brand new.Marketing today isn’t really what it was 2 — 5 – and also 20 years ago.Marketing should also be an evolving process that will considers change in the world, economy, markets, consumers; combined with internal change within the organization.

    Result (not the 7th C)

    So there it’s always; the 6 C’s of marketing:User, Consistency, Innovation, Culture, Correspondence and Transformation.I believe that these is going to be published in every text book in the country within the next ten ages and We are a full, well noted author.That’s why right!

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  12. gantiross says:

    r or refrigerator.
    POOR PLUGS, combined with cords, include trouble.If a prongs will be broken you simply must get the latest plug.Assuming they are purely loose, make sure the wires havent been pulled out of place, then tighten the 2 main major small anchoring screws that safe and sound them.
    THE PERFECT VOLTAGE and style of current (usually indicated on the appliance) and own cable, must be used on all of electricr or refrigerator.

    POOR PLUGS, combined with cords, include trouble.If a prongs will be broken you simply must get the latest plug.Assuming they are purely loose, make sure the wires havent been pulled out of place, then tighten the 2 main major small anchoring screws that safe and sound them.

    THE PERFECT VOLTAGE and style of current (usually indicated on the appliance) and own cable, must be used on all of electrical devices.For safety in ordering equipment locate the UL stamps, the Underwriters Laboratories stamps.File many instruction tag words, leaflets, and booklets within the safe set for examination when desired; don’t simply just read these individuals and pitch them at a distance.

    We not fail to remember to detach cord equipment using the switch primary before pulling out the select not the cord.Disconnect the cords well before cleaning these folks with soapy cloth in order to the sauces.Avoid replacing electric cables after rinsed until they are simply fully arid.Keep that cord freed from knots plus keep them in a cool dried place.Almost all people like to keep the off shoot cord beneath rugs; it is to be used through caution.Change out defective cords immediately and replace these folks.Make sure the connections are stiffened.

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  13. gantiross says:

    tore affiliated while using the credit card issuer.So, in the event you spend $1000, then you’ll receive back $10.Spend $1000 on the special location and generate $20 purchasing.Try have the most purchasing by cashing in to the higher proportions.
    Furthermore, a cashback credit business card might specify that you might earn “up to” a quantity or portore affiliated while using the credit card issuer.So, in the event you spend $1000, then you’ll receive back $10.Spend $1000 on the special location and generate $20 purchasing.Try have the most purchasing by cashing in to the higher proportions.

    Furthermore, a cashback credit business card might specify that you might earn “up to” a quantity or portion – this may mean that you simply won’t necessarily get a full 1% earn cashback unless you produce larger variety of purchases.There may additionally be a limit on the amount you may get back.

    And finally, many purchasing offers offer you a limited amount of time in which must get any cash back amounts.If you propose on using these provides, make sure that you implement it well inside the timeframe specific or you may lose a benefits.

    When checking any cash return credit greeting card offers, be guaranteed to pay close attention to the wording utilization in advertising.And before obtaining a card, read the fine print to make certain that you’re getting one of the better cash back store cards.

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  14. gantiross says:

    Basically, all that is moving obtain your legs.
    While the handlebars exist so you can maintain the right balance relating to the machine, make sure that you are not likely placing an excessive amount of body weight onto your arms as they clasp a sides.This will require the work out of your legs; hence, you is going to be cheating noticeably.
    Also, stand erect while you are on all the step machine and never slouched throughout the panel showcase.Not sole is slouching a way Basically, all that is moving obtain your legs.

    While the handlebars exist so you can maintain the right balance relating to the machine, make sure that you are not likely placing an excessive amount of body weight onto your arms as they clasp a sides.This will require the work out of your legs; hence, you is going to be cheating noticeably.

    Also, stand erect while you are on all the step machine and never slouched throughout the panel showcase.Not sole is slouching a way to cheat, but it is a great way to injury your current back.

    Be sure to stretch out considerably before dealing with a session relating to the step system.Without the perfect stretch during your thighs and lower legs, you could be putting your Calf msucles at probability, an injury which will hamper your fitness goals for a long time and many months.Also, without a proper extend, you feet can become susceptible in order to severe numbing while about the machine.

    Although the step machine is simply an remarkable tool for use on your cardiovascular undertakings, do certainly not become too subject to this a particular machine.Make sure you spruce ” up ” your cardio with other sorts of machines such as the Stairmaster, the stationary bikes, and the actual treadmills.

    And aside from burning off of some weight cells, the stepper is an excellent machine pertaining to building as well as toning the leg muscles, the butt, and the actual quadraceps.

    VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>