Cover the Uninsured in Georgia

What is the most affordable way to cover those who lack health insurance in Georgia?

According to the folks in Congress believe you must provide billions of dollars for walking paths, streetlights, jungle gyms, and even farmers’ markets.

Makes sense, right?

Walking paths promote  healthy activities as well as jungle gyms. Streetlights help to keep us safe, which is healthy. And farmers markets sell healthy food.

Critics argue the provision is a thinly disguised effort to insert pork-barrel spending into a bill that has been widely portrayed to the public as dealing with expanding health coverage and cutting medical costs.

But advocates, including Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, defend the proposed spending as a necessary way to promote healthier lives and, in the long run, cut medical costs. “These are not public works grants; they are community transformation grants,’’ said Anthony Coley, a spokesman for Kennedy, chairman of the Senate health committee whose healthcare bill includes the projects.

It’s not pork, which of course can be unhealthy, but community transformation grants. Why didn’t I think of that?

“If improving the lighting in a playground or clearing a walking path or a bike path or restoring a park are determined as needed by a community to create more opportunities for physical activity, we should not prohibit this from happening,’’ Coley said in a statement.

So logical.

If you are a member of Congress.

A House version of the bill caps the projects at $1.6 billion per year and includes them in a section designed to save money in the long run by reducing obesity and other health problems.

So having jungle gyms and walking paths reduce obesity.

Then why have I gained weight since buying a rowing machine several years ago? The machine has been carefully stowed away in my basement along with my dancing to the oldies tapes with Richard Simmons.

“We will see a return on this investment if you use this money strategically for proven, evidence-based programs,’’ Levi said in an interview, citing efforts to stop smoking and to promote physical activity. “We will prevent or reverse chronic diseases such as heart disease. . . . It will pay for itself.’’

Well there you go. It is part of Obamaman’s Paygo scheme.

“We spend 75 cents of every healthcare dollar treating people with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and asthma, and only 4 cents on prevention,’’ Harkin said in a statement. “But the majority of these diseases can be prevented through lifestyle and environmental changes.’’

This is all true.

The problem is, most people would rather take a pill than actually change their lifestyle even if it means better overall health. Perhaps if we paid people to live a healthy lifestyle that would work.

Since obesity is a major contributor to health issues, maybe a tax dollar credit for each pound lost.

Lose 20 pounds, take a $2000 tax credit. Every year you keep the pounds off you get the credit.

That’s a change you can believe in.

But in the interim, if you are looking to buy affordable health insurance in Atlanta, Georgia or any other parts of the state, check us out.

Speak Your Mind