The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Columns

January 18, 2014

Jim Bailey: We’re living longer now but requiring more medical care

The uproar over the projected high cost of Obamacare reflects changes in human longevity. That’s the good news. The bad news is it’s costing us more over the long haul.

Those ridiculous ages in the book of Genesis aside (probably reflecting different ways of reckoning the length of a year in ancient times), people are living longer these days. Jesus is said to have lived 33 years on Earth, and for the time that probably was about the life expectancy of men.

Disease, the elements, wild animals and unpredicted natural disasters likely took its toll on men. So did wars, which were virtually universal in those days and centered around hand-to-hand combat. In the case of women, virtually nonexistent birth control brought large numbers of children, and with primitive medical knowledge, the chances of dying from complications of childbirth were considerably greater.

The age of enlightenment, the industrial revolution and general advancement of human knowledge began to change all that in the last few centuries. Still, when Social Security became law in the 1930s, the retirement age of 65 roughly corresponded with a person’s life expectancy. Few politicos envisioned the day when just about everyone would harbor the hopes not only of retirement but at an age when it could still be enjoyed.

Of course, it remains a fact of life that health management corresponds roughly with age. Younger people don’t worry much about health insurance since only occasionally do they spend any time in the hospital as a patient.

I was fortunate enough to have company-paid health insurance from the outset. Rarely did I have occasion to use it, though, until our children started coming along. Then limited maternity benefits were available. It was years later before maternity began being treated correspondingly with involuntary health concerns.

Text Only
Columns
  • Clark, Big Joe mug [Duplicate] 'Big Joe' Clark: Plan your strategy for financing higher education Planning is essential regardless of the situation, but no plan is perfect. There will be flat tires and snow days, but there will also be dances and great memories. Let’s plan for what we can even if we know it won’t be perfect.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Davis, Verna mug Verna Davis: Peace is worth fighting for Some people say they know how to find peace. We should “simply” follow our hearts, search for meaning in our lives, and fulfill our dreams. Sad to say, those things may bring us a bit of satisfaction, but they certainly don’t bring us peace.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Bailey: Gospel singer’s long road to recovery has begun Eighteen months ago, gospel singer and The Perrys manager Tracy Stuffle found himself wrecked by the side of the road, where he struggled to summon help on his cell phone. He had suffered a severe stroke while driving.

    July 30, 2014

  • OPN - Mootry column mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Primus Mootry: The African-American community toward a new narrative African Americans are entirely unique in the annals of American history and, perhaps, the whole history of mankind. This uniqueness demands an African American agenda and, with it, a new narrative, or way of articulating that agenda.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • underwood mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Scott Underwood: Headlines can capture imagination I'd just left the newspaper office one morning and was driving north on Jackson Street, when I stopped at a red light and glanced at the rearview mirror.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd: 'My Social Security' simplifies your life So many people buzz through extremely busy and complicated schedules these days. A smartphone in one hand, a computer in front of you, and a digital task list that never seems to end. In addition, to complicate things just a little more, there’s another event you need to add to your list — National Simplify Your Life week.

    July 28, 2014

  • Maureen Hayden: 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress for national security failures Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Vaughan, Nancy mug [Duplicate] Nancy Vaughan: Fireworks and fireflies mean summer in full swing Hasn't July been a fabulous month? It began with multiple fireworks venues and parades and ends with fairs and football in full swing. We have been blessed with mild weather and if you haven't had to travel much outside of the county, roadwork has been minimal.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ken de la Bastide: City unions go without contracts for many years How Anderson deals with unions has changed dramatically over the years. In the past it would have been unheard of for union members to continue to work without a contract or an agreed upon deadline. But members of three unions that represent Anderson city employees have been working without a new contract agreement for up to seven years.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jim Bailey: Traveling by passenger train was a page from the past My wife doesn’t remember riding on a full-fledged passenger train as a baby. Our children have never ridden. It’s an experience rapidly going the way of the horse and buggy and the stagecoach throughout a nation now obsessed with jumbo jets and sport-utility vehicles.

    July 26, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

How many Dan Patch races have you attended?

None
1-2
3 or more
All 20
     View Results