Thinking Citizen Blog — Punch List for America — What’s on the Top of Yours?
Thinking Citizen Blog — Thursday is Health, Health Care and Global Health Policy Day
Today’s Topic — Punch List for America — what’s on the top of yours?
In December 2017, I decided it would be a good idea for every member of the blog to come up with a “Punch List for America” — a list of changes with the biggest bang for the buck. Things so obvious and simple that they were “layups.” My original list was divided into seven categories: education, health care, foreign policy, economic policy, climate change, political process, and justice. I reviewed the list periodically and made changes. But there were so many items, it was hard to process them.
Yesterday, I asked myself what are three ideas from the list that I remember best. The result: statehood for DC, abolishing the native-born requirement for the US presidency, and making the voting age and office-holding the same. Then I asked myself, what would be #1 on my list today across all seven fields. What is the single most egregious gap between America’s health as it is and as it should be that could be relatively easily fixed? Today, my answer. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
MANDATORY ONE HOUR A DAY OF PHYSICAL FITNESS FOR EVERY CHILD IN AMERICA
1. Let’s call it: close the Fitness Gap, the most fixable dimension of the “health care gap.”
2. 68% of American children are not physically active 3X per week!!!! Hello!!!!!
3. Every top private grade school, middle school, and high school in the country tells the story of their curriculum as a three-legged stool — academics, arts, and athletics. At these schools, daily physical activity is not optional. Every child in America should enjoy the “privilege” of a comparably balanced curriculum.
NB: I have written about this problem many times on sports day. Today, I think it deserves to be highlighted. How about starting with Massachusetts? Or your local school district wherever you are? I will be emailing the newly elected member of the Concord School Committee, Fatima Mezdad (congratulations, by the way, Fatima) later today — in case she misses this post. What states, what school districts in the USA have the most enlightened policies in this regard? I don’t know. Do you?
PHYSICAL INACTIVITY OF CHILDREN IS MORE THAN A US PROBLEM
1. 75% of countries in the world have failing physical activity grades. This according to a study of 49 countries on six continents by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute.
2. “Modern lifestyles — increases in screen time, the growing urbanization of communitiesand the rise in automation of previously manual tasks — are contributing to a pervasive public health problem that must be recognized as a global priority.”
3. “We have a collective responsibility to change this because inactive children are at risk for adverse physical, mental, social, and cognitive health problems.” AMEN!
NB: The developed countries with the best physical health grades were Slovenia and Japan. What can we learn from them?
THE THREE HEALTH CARE ITEMS ON THE 12/24/17 UPDATE OF MY “PUNCH LIST FOR AMERICA”
1. “Re-frame the health care issue to maximizing health, not health care or health insurance.”
2. “Embrace the Singapore model of universal catastrophic care, HSAs, and a robust safety net.”
3. “LARCS: long-acting reversible and universal access to reproductive services.”
Comment: I think today’s top pick is much less ambitious and more achievable. What do you think?
What is on top of your list? Do you have a list? Does making such a list sound like a good idea?
Please share the most interesting thing you learned in the last week related to health, health care or health care policy — the ethics, economics, politics, history….
Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to health are or health care policy that the rest of us may have missed. Or just some random health-related fact that blew you away.
This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your mind something really important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than you otherwise would about something that matters.