Everybody knows that we spend much more than other countries on health care with worse outcomes. What is not so often noted is that we have more unhealthy people to begin with. Our kids and adults eat too much sugar, made cheap by huge subsidies to corn farmers. We suffer from obesity, sedentary habits, and eat too much fat and fast foods, producing a growing epidemic of type two diabetes.
If we want to have lower health care costs, then we as a population need to get healthier by preventing illness through better diets, more exercise, good health habits -- and no smoking and less alcohol.
When will the politicians tell us this simple truth we don't want to hear? I don't mean with euphemistic-tending, weak language like more preventive care. I mean direct talk like this: "Look, as a nation we are fat, eat too much sugar and bad fats, don't exercise enough, smoke too much and, generally don't take care of ourselves very well. We can either shape up and get fit or pay more for health care, live with chronic conditions, and die early."