Tithonus, a mortal, was so loved by Eos that she convinced Zeus to grant him immortality and bestow upon him eternal life.
Yet she forgot to request everlasting youth so as he aged, he withered, begging for death. Eos, out of pity, changed him into a Cicada; where to this day we hear him bab-ble.
Long life without good health is prison.
I have been more focused on the health care debate than many, in part because my wife and I fall in the five percent that received a cancellation notice from our insurance company. Informed that our plan would cease to exist, we could do nothing and the Insurance Company Deities would transfer us to a comparable high-deductible, basic coverage, catastrophic coverage plan with no effort.
Before one considers this an altruistic, benevolent, considerate deed, one must also know that our rate would skyrocket from $502 a month to almost $1,000. Being of a “certain age” where health care coverage is essential (and now required) and being of a “certain in-come” where spending more on said policy than on our mortgage is unacceptable, I researched.
- We are one of those families who was not able to keep our health insurance — even if we liked it. (Being cynical by nature, that prompts for me a bigger question: Does anyone really “like” their health insurance plan or do they consider it a necessary evil like a root canal or paying taxes? I think the latter.)
- The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is not a government “take over” of health care; it reforms how insurance companies provide it and how we purchase it.
- The health care site in California (www.coveredca.com) is ridiculously easy to use.
- And here’s the best part! Through that site, our rate for a comparable policy plummets by $500. Yep, you read that right; it will cost us less to have catastrophic health care each month than to buy coffee in the hospital cafeteria should one of us be admitted.
I considered long and hard before providing my opinions as I realize that in today’s polarized world, anything associated with anything gets someone’s knickers twisted. Moreso, even reasonable folks can argue as to whether the changes are good or bad (although $500 per month savings is fantastic). I also believe that are better ways to ensure every-one has access to affordable heath care.
Yet, what goes beyond disagreement is whether one earns billions or lives in poverty; refers to himself as “liberal,” “conservative,” or anything in between; is male or female, young or old; and no matter which part of the planet one calls home; nothing is more essential than one’s health. Equally accurate is the truism that no one gets off this planet alive, so one day — hopefully long into the future — we’ll face that unavoidable moment. However, to forestall it, we consume medicine by the bucket-load; analyze moles, splotches, and lumps with regularity; monitor blood pres-sure, cholesterol, and triglycerides; and, in general, work at remaining happy, healthy, and functional for as long as possible.
It’s our most primal instinct.
Sometimes however, with all the high-tech, whiz-bang, golly-gosh technologies at our disposal, we forget that more important than any government policy or medical program is the undeniable fact that there are simple actions we can each do to help delay the fate of Tithonus.
Walk a tad further that you normally would. Eat a smidgeon healthier than you usually do. Hug your loved ones longer than they expected.
And smile more broadly any day you’re able to.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a motivational weight loss speaker and founder of www.21DayHabitChange.com, guaranteed to help you change a habit in just 3 weeks. He is available for coaching and speaking at 707.442.6243, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/ThisTimeIMeanIt.