Vail Daily letter: Health-care costs mounting
May 22, 2012
As I enter my 75th year, I have been observing the monumental and too often very painful struggles related to serious mental and physical illness that a number of my contemporary relatives and friends are going through these days.
Though overall each decade sees Americans living longer, thanks to the many advances in science, technology and medicine, the quality of life in our later years for far too many people is grim and unpleasant, to say the least. This is a serious topic that very few individuals today are willing to even think about.
Consequently, I have come to the conclusion that the “miracle” of modern medicine in many ways resembles the cutting-room floor of a horror movie studio whose producer has decided that the outtakes were too ghastly and inappropriate for even the most callous and hardened of audiences to witness.
In the United States today, the unfunded liability for future health-care costs across the board is already in the many trillions of dollars and mounting. Unsustainable costs related to the treatment of millions of people with serious illnesses later in life soon must be addressed and factored into all future health-care planning if society is to avoid an economic implosion resulting from well-meaning endeavors to prolong human life far beyond what nature has intended.
It is a certainty that in the not-too-distant future, there will be nowhere near enough money in all of Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, the insurance companies and from private sources to cover all of the tremendous costs modern medicine has burdened society with, and very tough choices will have to be made.
Other nations have already addressed this reality. It is past time that the United States does so as well.
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Cold, callous, insensitive observations and suggestions on my part? No, simply realistic and pragmatic statements of fact that cannot be denied or ignored very much longer.