Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mental Health Care or Carelessness?

Denial around the seriousness of addressing mental health problems impacts all facets of America.  Investing in the front end of the health care network could save valuable tax dollars by both preventative and proactive measures.  The mind is very tied to our body.  When one fails the other usually is not too far behind. 

Today the United States spends 5.6 percent of the national healthcare spending, or $113 billion, on mental health treatment.  Most of this goes toward prescription drugs and outpatient treatment. Our country had 156,300 mental health counselors in 2010, and access to mental healthcare is pathetic compared to other types of medical services.

Healthcare spending is forecast to account for nearly 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), or one-fifth of the U.S. economy, by 2021.  It’s been estimated that wasteful spending may account for between one-third and one-half of all U.S. healthcare spending.  The largest area of waste is ‘defensive medicine’, including redundant, inappropriate or unnecessary tests and procedures. Other factors that contribute to this excessive spending include non-adherence to medical advice and prescriptions, alcohol abuse, smoking and obesity.   We must address the psychological factors of we wish to lessen health care costs.

Presently our economy totals 15 trillion dollars.  U.S. total healthcare expenditure is $2.7 trillion or 18 percent of GDP. Multiple chronic illness cases that are just one percent of healthcare expenditure consume 21 percent of this total amount.  The last tier of 50 percent of patients accounted for 2.8 percent of spending last year.  Contrary to popular opinion only 10 percent of healthcare dollars are spent in the last year of life. While there is increased spending in the last few months approaching death, it is not the massive percentage of medical care dollars that is widely believed.

It is difficult to find any peace of mind with our mental healthcare system. For examplehow depression, anxiety and other ailments directly affect our bottom-line can only be speculated.  Also, the degree to which such mind states related to obesity and other major diseases today is difficult to track.  Loss of worker productivity and other indirect costs for mental treatment, therapy and other associated facets of mental illness are difficult to fully measure. Mental healthcare is expensive, with 45 percent of the untreated citing cost as a barrier. A quarter of the 15.7 million Americans who received mental healthcare listed themselves as the main payer for the services.

For last 20 years I have learned to better address my anxiety.  I have been fortunate to be able to cope with a more and more demanding world. I have been reluctant to share my plight with my HMO and spent out-of-pocket tens of thousands of dollars of my own money to manage my own mental health.  This exploration has been my most valuable financial investment since I have become more mindful as to how to keep appearances up and costs down. However, stress and increasing global tensions continue to augment as our population and social conditions evolve. It is wise to question how we going to fix our health care system so as to prosper in years to come.

The sooner we Americans face this opportunity the better.  All Americans are mutually tied in what happens in healthcare.  Our very well-being and future prospects forces us to courageously agree to transform this hidden crisis—into a new frontier of opportunities.  If only we can collectively care together this country will greatly benefit, mind, body and spirit.
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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Efficient Governance

Creating a more efficient government is a win/win situation. A new form of saving in our decision making will return us to a more ingenious nation. Creating a better American way requires us to explore optimal resource management. Simple economic and environmental conditions leads me to such a conclusion. Increased people, prices and problems necessitates frugal and wise actions.

Government productivity and performance comes down to its output over input.  Once the public sector best accounts for what we use and where it goes then this life cycle tracking will stimulate new prosperity.  Critical to such a national policy will be a public and private campaign to sustain efficiency.

Increasing productivity can result when such a change is reached. Our output and inputs must be balance with increased financial, environmental and social considerations as we improve business. Once we become fully accountable a national policy of new performance measurements will enhance our welfare. Such improvements will form partnerships and improve all types of ingenious management. 

All Americans can learn how to become better resource managers. We can learn to be more skillful to use not abuse our people, air, water, land and other materials. Both we and the Feds must awaken to efficient ways to improve the economy. For example more effective federal policies to amend "Use or Lose It," (wasting money at the end of the year so to keep or increase next years funding) would be a great start.  As we explore opportunities to better streamline, and consolidate programs we will improve Fed productivity. We have the opportunity to better weed out programs that are outdated, ineffective, and unsustainable.

A national dialogue is required to best fine tune government by we, the people. By deploying a variety of tools and, stimulating participation of many organizations, such a reprioritization of what the federal government does, how it does it, and in some cases, who does the government's business, will change our budgetary future. Important as safeguarding funds from fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement is to pursue widespread opportunities to improve existing federal system.

In conclusion good oversight is essential. We must lessen duplication and or even working at cross purpose. More efficient  streamlining processes will restructure organizational roles and responsibilities We will only prosper once our nation champions greater government efficiency measures.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Being Cool with a Warming World

As our planet heats up being cool or conserving helps you find a peace of mind due to this climate craziness. Increased population, pollution, resource loss (water, soil, trees, etc) and other forms of depletion do have a serious consequences. For example, according to a major study in the journal, Nature, Greenland since 1900 has lost 9,103 gigaton of ice (a gigaton is a billion metric tons). More alarming is that this loss doubled from 2003-2010, compared with the loss from previous years. Such information can fever the mind. Keeping cool is about mindful resource use of using more with less. We as humans will pay a greater price if we do it respond to this accelerated environmental damage. The more we prevent the greater we profit. Increased emissions is not just a national but an international security issue. The better we mimic our natural cycles the greater we invest in our future prospects. If one looks at how carbon dioxide (CO2) impacts our eco-system then there will be not question what have to be done. Observing the last 1000 years of emissions then we would be more sensitive how long it take for CO2 to removed by the natural processes. In the next 45 years it is expected we cross the 2-degree Celsius rise in mean global temperature. How we address our energy, and resource issues will have a future effect. Yes we are on a larger Easter Island except our now it's a bigger spaceship. For example, the more trees we cut down the greater we accelerate not just resource loss but the probable human one. Preventing such a disaster is paramount. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the new CO2 rules to address climate change will cost between $5-8.4 billion in 2030. Simply take away of all the federal subsidies to industries that create this carbon will offset the cost to clean it up. Presently our national economy is $17 trillion dollars. Creating a cool comes down to each of us to find how we can keep the temperature and emissions down. Using more with less and making other ingenious choices has a ripple effect. Years in the future we may look back and see how huge this is as a national security issue. Already numerous military experts and most world leaders have identified climate change as major defense priority. Let's discern fact from fiction and create a legacy of hope that humans will unite to insure our very existence. Being cool with a warming world is our first line of defense.