Editor’s Column: Crowdfunding our health

I’m waiting for permission from
the Daily Sentinel to share an
article about Savannah Edinger,
who has lots of Meeker connections,
and her recovery from a traumatic
accident on I-70 that left her
with serious burns and killed two of
her beloved horses. Our thoughts
and prayers are with her as she
recuperates. I can’t share the article
yet, but I can share the link to her
fundraising page: bit.ly/2u8jUNU.
On that note, the fact we—“the
richest nation in the world”—have
to resort to crowdfunding to care for
our sick, wounded and dying tells
me there’s something terribly wrong
with our societal values.
In an article in this week’s edition,
PMC CEO Ken Harmon said
much of the cost of healthcare—70
percent—can be attributed to
“lifestyle choices.” He has a point.
Obesity, smoking, substance abuse,
lack of exercise, poor diet and stress
contribute to multiple illnesses.
In my own household, 70 percent
of our healthcare costs have
historically correlated to accidents
related to exercise and outdoor
activities (aka teenage boys), and
women’s health issues with no
known causality, no viable preventative
care, and no confirmed diagnosis
without a surgical procedure.
The only lifestyle choices that
would have saved us money were
keeping my sons off the ski slopes
and away from dirt bikes. I tried,
believe me.
Start a discussion about how we
should pay for our nation’s healthcare
needs and invariably someone
will argue that people who suffer
from certain diseases or conditions
“brought it on themselves” and
therefore “we” shouldn’t have to
pay for their treatment. In my opinion,
it gets a little dystopian when
we start talking about who
“deserves” medical care and treatment.
How did we get to this point,
and how far will we, as a society,
allow that line of thinking to go?
Harmon
believes, and I
agree with him,
that preventative
care, patient participation
and
health education
could cut costs
dramatically.
But what do you
do when even
preventative care is unaffordable?
We lost our group health insurance
when my husband quit his corporate
job. Private insurance premiums
would cost more than half my
monthly income. Even though we’re
business owners, we don’t qualify
for a group plan because our only
full-time employees are also owners.
So we delay those recommended
preventative care items because we
have to take care of what’s already
broken before we go pay out-ofpocket
for a checkup or a recommended
test.
Our healthcare system is in a
quandary, and there is no simple
solution that will please everyone.
In the meantime, consider giving to
those crowdfunding campaigns. You
might need one someday, too.
n n n
The first magazine subscription I
ordered was to The New Yorker. I
was 12. I didn’t understand half the
articles, but that didn’t stop me from
sending my first article submission
to their New York, N.Y. address.
Somewhere in a box I have that first
rejection slip.
Scroll forward 35 years and I’m
emailing The New Yorker to request
reprint permissions for an article
about Rangely’s Tank. Seriously. The
esteemed magazine wrote an article
about the Tank after the Roomful of
Teeth concert (they don’t allow
reprints for 60 days, but you can read
the article here: bit.ly/2u8Ok2M).
Perhaps Rangely will become the
darling of the eclectic music community
around the world? It could happen.
Truth is, after all, stranger than
fiction.