Reflections on Individualism and Health
I closed Blog Series 1 with the statement “At the end of the day, self-care is the best and most cost effective form of health care. And, as they say, therein lies the rub.” The rub is that lousy self-care leads to lousy personal health. “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to…” is a now famous Lesley Gore line from her 1965 top ten single. The line reflects the approach many Americans take to their personal health. Sort of a laissez faire, nihilistic approach that goes something like: “It’s my body and I’ll die if I want to!”
As Americans, we enjoy and defend our freedoms but often use those freedoms in irresponsible ways. If we will not be responsible for our individual freedoms, we will be held to account for them. And make no mistake, accountability is a top down process. This onus is already being applied from the payer side, evidenced by officious questionnaires and health screenings.
Ultimately, it is the individual who will be forced to have skin in the game, to ante up as it were, to share the risk and the reward. Such is the trajectory of healthcare in America.
In the words of Sir Josiah Stamp, “It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.”