Taking Personal Responsibility for our Health

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In the past, many have called upon the Americans to take charge of their health being. The idea seems to be cropping up once again. The Vice President of the United States Mike Pence, for instance, has urged residents to begin taking responsibility for their health and wellbeing. The director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney says that it is not the government’s responsibility to take care of individuals who sit at home, eat unhealthy food then get diabetes. These are not the first calls to be made regarding personal burden on one’s health. President Barack Obama at one time called on the Americans to do something regarding their care. Most Americans do not have a problem with people who lead unhealthy lifestyles paying even more insurance premiums. The calls for personal responsibility have not been bearing fruits such as saving lives or even improving outcomes.

By taking responsibility, every individual will not only save money for medical care but will also have a sense of personal pride and avoid burdening other people. The discussion on personal responsibility has heightened in Medicaid reforms. The director of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma took part in streamlining the Indiana Medicaid development. Patients in Indiana were required to subscribe to a monthly contribution so that they get the total benefit. Failure to contribute this amount would call for an immediate cut of the benefits for six months. Those who use the emergency services unnecessarily are required to pay some money. An initial report to this project unveiled different results.

A study conducted by RAND revealed that paying more for health care makes people reduce their spending. It is entirely wrong to claim that an individual is to blame for unhealthy behaviors such as overeating, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking. By condemning them, we give a blind eye to factors such as genes, education, medical care, family, environment among other factors that determine the health being of an individual. It is, however, crucial to encourage each person to take responsibility for opposing it would be counterproductive. As much as the idea of doing away with factors that play a part in causing cancer is worthwhile, penalizing or rewarding patient for the role the play could be laborious. If the idea of personal responsibility were to be strictly followed, it would conflict with the belief that every American deserves healthcare.

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