Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Liberal Medical Cost Savings Plan

"The Government needs to stop spending money."

With current budgetary shortcomings, I am certainly not looking for new ways to spend more money.  That said, I think that proper regulation can and does prevent injury, and proper care after an injury can return the injured to pre-accident condition and ability.  When we allow poor regulation to injury or completely disable people, then spend little to nothing to see to it that they get better, we are losing production...and gaining dependents.

Republicans call these notions "nanny-state regulations."  Things like requiring seat belts in cars and helmets for motorcycle riders.   One might even consider drug laws as such.  I would suggest that if we want to truly keep people healthy, then we have to make safer those things that everyone takes part in.  My first inclination was high school sports, and requiring knee and ankle braces for all contact sports athletes.  Millions of high school athletes lose mobility and range of motion because they are not properly taped or braced and then failed to properly rehabilitate an injury.

The cost of an ankle brace is between $10 and $30.  Requiring such a brace would prevent both the number of injuries as well as their severity.  Instead, kids get injured quite badly, then spend the rest of their career getting taped for every game and practice, at the cost of $1.25 per taping.  A multiple sport athlete can easily require hundreds of such tapings over a career, and then expect a lifetime of arthritic symptoms if not complete joint failure.

Joint failure is a disabling injury, at least half of the 5.4 million on Disability today are there because of it.  This is to say nothing of the tens of millions who have reduced mobility and range of motion, who are forced to take pain killers just to be able to function through their day.

The U.S. spends over half a trillion dollars every year paying people who can no longer work.  We could cut that number in half simply by applying better more protective regulation in high school contact sports.  Simply by altering the required uniforms we can help everyone live longer more productive lives of less pain.  The beauty is that the cost benefit analysis here makes this a no brainer.  How many republicans were against requiring shoulder pads or a mouth piece?


  1. This is so true & such a frustration when I hear people making fun of Obama for his comments regarding making football a safer sport. Entertainment at any cost I guess.

    1. Did you hear about the latest NFL rules change? Runners now won't be able to lead with their head, in the open field.

      Ideally the market would adopt these principles, but since they are lacking, especially in the high school sports arena, states and school districts should enact better regulations.