What’s the biggest outside influence on your health? I’d argue it’s politics.
It’s easy to get a bit self-absorbed when you’re sick. That’s fine to do occasionally. Then when you want to reach out, you probably turn to family and friends, right? That’s good too. But I hope everyone takes some time to educate themselves on local, state, and federal politics, because they do affect you.
Massachusetts has a lot of potential ballot questions coming up next year. Some will affect me more than others, and I don’t know which. Some of the questions could be about medical marijuana, doctors prescribing life-ending drugs, and changes to state health insurance regulations. I’m sure each of these will eventually have an effect on me or on someone I know. What are the laws in your state? Is anyone looking to change them?
I’m not suggesting a Big Brother role here, but politics affects all of us. Some of us may end up on Social Security Disability Insurance one day. Some of us may need to stop working and rely on food stamps. If you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure that health insurance matters to you. Of the many health insurance changes that could come about as a result of President Obama’s plan is stopping health insurance companies from excluding someone based on a preexisting medical condition. That means I could get health insurance anywhere in the U.S.! For someone reading this in Canada or Sweden, that may sound strange. For anyone in the U.S. with a health issue, it sounds like a fantastic safety net. We’ll still have to pay for it (unless you qualify for Medicaid) but at least we’ll have it! And what about legalizing medical marijuana? I know that’s controversial. I also know that when I took some in California last year, it was the first time in years that I wasn’t queasy. I could even eat without feeling queasy! That was a fantastic feeling, and one I’d like to have again from time to time.
My point is simply that politics affects us all, whether we want it to or not, so we might as well get educated and learn what is about to have an influence on our lives.
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