If this is your first time here, you may wish to read the Opening Letter and Introduction before you proceed.


Part 2 Section III in the Series

Access to land and sufficient funds take us toward actualizing a flourishing lifestyle but we’re not there yet. Another key ingredient is Time. We need time to maintain our Homestead, give and receive affection to and from our household members and friends, participate in our local community, relax, pursue individual hobbies, etc. According to the World Atlas, the United States ranks 13th in highest average hours worked per year (1,790). In contrast, the Nordic States of Finland (1,646), Sweden (1,612), Denmark (1,457), and Norway (1,424) average 1,535 per year.  If the U.S. full time work week was reduced to 32 hours vs. 40 and four weeks of PTO (paid time off) were a minimum requirement, the U.S., excluding overtime could reduce its average hours worked per year to 1,536 for its full-time workforce. Work-life balance is ingrained into the Nordic culture. It is customary for Executives to leave work at the end of the standard workday along with everyone else and turn their attention to family and other personal pursuits; they work-to-live whereas the United States’ present culture lives-to-work. Proposed, are National Labor Regulations that address work-life balance, fairness, and equality in the work environment.

Having enough time to enjoy life while earning a decent income, is one critical part of living a healthy life.  Nourishing your physical and spiritual being is also essential to good health. Good health begins with a nutritious diet and regular exercise. Growing your own organic and non-GMO food at your Homestead is one way to achieve both. The food you buy at the grocery store provided by Big Ag and the food processing industry is not only tainted with chemicals but is most often harvested before its prime ripeness for transport and shelf-life purposes which reduces its nutrient value. As far as exercise, according to a 2012 Penn State article, Americans average only 2 hours per week of fitness activities; just common sense tells you that is not enough to support good physical health.

Given the current stresses – financial insecurity, lack of time, work environment, etc. – Americans are faced with in their daily lives, it’s no wonder that mental health is deteriorating too.

According to America’s Health Rankings, the overall health of Americans continues to decline. An unhealthy individual experiences suffering and diminished functionality which not only affects the individual, it negatively impacts all those who rely on the actions of that individual for their own well-being. When an individual experiences an illness or injury, they need access to professional healthcare to assist them in returning to a healthy state of being.  Recent surveys state that 25% of Americans did not seek out healthcare when they needed it due to cost concerns.

To ensure Citizens have access to comprehensive preventative and treatment services, a differently structured healthcare system is indicated. In order for the system to be effective, it needs to include some key elements.

For medical industry cost containment purposes, all healthcare facilities and their accompanying equipment and supplies need to be publicly owned (Government owned) – this enables volume negotiated purchasing – the negotiations determine the fee for every medical procedure and medication; fees are then identical across the country. Additionally, and as with all government funded institutions, they should be operated under Non-Profit Organization guidelines. All covered healthcare services and operational expenses incurred by healthcare providers would be paid by the Government which streamlines the remittance process. Any services not included in the Public Healthcare System, would remain in the private economic sector. Funding for healthcare services and treatments not covered under the Public Healthcare System may be available through Private Insurance.

To ensure quality care and effectively run operations, Executive Leadership should be staffed by private citizen medical and business professionals (not government officials). This would be arranged through contracts with private non-profit organizations; contracts would be awarded through a bidding process with history of quality service provision being a key determining factor. All contracts would be subject to the Survival level price restrictions as specified in the Market Price Regulations. For accountability purposes, the appropriate Office within the Department of Social Benefits would receive quarterly operational reports and conduct audits or investigations as prudent.

In alignment with the standard household composition and the Sustainable Population Program , covered medical services for a family consisting of One Adult Citizen and One Dependent (Single Child or Single Animal Companion) would be paid by Government remittance. Medical expenses for more than one dependent would be the financial responsibility of the dependent’s legal guardian and may be funded through Private Insurance. Adults who are not legal Citizens would also be financially responsible for their own medical expenses unless special circumstances are present such as a foreign national being granted asylum.

The type of care that should be covered by the Public Healthcare System can be separated into four categories – Wellness, Common Medical, Catastrophic Care, and Elderly Care:

  • Wellness (WellCare)
    • Covers 100% of Primary Prevention (prevent disease or injury before it occurs)
    • Semi-Annual Visit to General Medical Practitioner (Conventional(Western) or Naturopath) or Animal Equivalent
    • Annual Visit to Nutritionist
    • Annual Visit to Dentist
    • Annual Visit to Dental Hygienist
    • Annual Visit to Optometrist (includes one pair of optical corrective lenses (contacts or glasses) when needed)
    • Annual Visit to Audiologist (includes one set of hearing aids when needed)
    • Annual Visit to Clinical Psychologist or Animal Behaviorist
    • Chemistry Panel and Complete Blood Count (CBC)
    • Other Medical Industry Association Recommended Early Detection Non-Invasive Tests
    • Annual Visit to Exercise Professional (includes individualized fitness plan)
    • Standard Vaccines and Immunizations
    • Standard Propagation Management Services and Maternity Care
  • Common Medical (ComCare)
    • Covers 100% with Full Participation in WellCare.
    • Covers 100% – after deductible equivalent to 25% of National Minimum Wage (annualized) with less than Full Participation in WellCare.
    • Covers Secondary Prevention (reduce the impact of a disease or injury that has already occurred) and Non-Invasive Treatments and Procedures and Over the Counter Medication, Generic Medication, Brand Medication (when no Generic alternative exists), and Supplements Prescribed by Physician.
  • Catastrophic Medical (CataCare)
    • Covers 100% with Full Participation in WellCare.
    • Covers 100% – after deductible equivalent to 25% of National Minimum Wage (annualized) with less than Full Participation in WellCare.
    • Covers Tertiary Prevention (soften the impact of a disease or injury that has lasting effects) and Non-Invasive or Invasive Treatments and Procedures and Over the Counter Medication, Generic Medication, Brand Medication (when no Generic alternative exists), and Supplements Prescribed by Physician.
    • Does not cover non-curative treatment (other than pain management and symptom mitigation) for terminal illnesses.
    • Covers euthanasia for the terminally ill and cases of extreme suffering with no option of satisfactory alleviation at the express request from the patient or legal guardian.
  • Elderly Care (ElderCare)
    • Covers 100% of quality of life home care for individuals 60 years of age or older medically requiring any of the following:
      • Assistance with bathing, dressing, walking, meal prep/diet monitoring, errands and shopping, light housekeeping, and medication reminders.
      • Respite Care for Family Caregivers
      • Hospice Care
    • Covers 100% of skilled nursing facility costs for individuals 60 years of age or older in which home care is medically unsuitable.
    • Covers 100% of respectful economy burial service and remembrance ceremony for individuals 60 years of age or older. Respectful Economy Burial Service and Remembrance Ceremony includes the following:
      • Economy Biodegradable Casket
      • Economy Masonry Memory Stone
      • Earth Burial and Remembrance Ceremony at Public Cemetery located in County of Elder’s most recent residence

By emphasizing wellness and preventative care, it is probable that the overall health of Citizens would soon begin to improve due to greater knowledge of healthful behaviors, prompt attention to injury, and the early detection and treatment of illness. Additionally, an integrated approach to care that includes alternatives to Western medicine, allows for a wider breadth of options to consider for the best individualized preventive and curative strategy.

Spirituality enables a sense of connection to something beyond oneself and prompts the individual to quest for the purpose of their being. Spiritual beliefs may be aligned with formal religious organizations or be composed of views unique to an individual. These formed beliefs provide a basis for people to relate to unknowns and hold sway in an individual’s thought process and actions.

Religious beliefs are deeply felt; they are part of the core self. When these beliefs are treated as sacrosanct to the individual by all other individuals, religion is a beneficial societal component.

In present times, religion has become highly dogmatic versus spiritual. An article by Steve Taylor Ph.D. published in Psychology Today aptly defines the difference.

            “Dogmatically religious people are those who think that they’re right and everyone else is wrong. For them, religion isn’t about self-development or experiencing the transcendent, but about adhering to a set of rigid beliefs and following the rules laid down by religious authorities. It’s about defending their beliefs against anyone who questions them, asserting their “truth” over other people’s, and spreading those beliefs to others. For them, the fact that other people have different beliefs is an affront, since it implies the possibility that their own beliefs may not be true. They need to convince other people that they’re wrong to prove to themselves that they’re right.

Dogmatic religion has caused or been used as an excuse for conflict between individuals, groups, and nations. For this reason, overt religious practice in the workplace, educational institutions, and in government institutions should be greatly discouraged. Religion is a private matter and is best observed and practiced in a private space. Policies that protect all individuals from having the religious beliefs of others imposed on them and that ensure the freedom to practice and observe one’s own religious beliefs in the sanctity of one’s home or place of worship shall be incorporated in Labor Regulations and Constitutional Law thus supporting a more harmonious spiritual experience for all.

Our subject of healthful living would be incomplete without mentioning the environment as the health of the environment affects the health of all life. The current state of the environment and what can be done differently to bring our planet back to a sustainable healthy state will be covered next in part 3 – Economy.

After contemplating the content of the Family Well-Being sections, you may have a nagging question about how these various programs will be funded. Funding has been taken into careful consideration and will be covered in parts 3 – Economy and 5 – Governance.

 

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Thank you very much for this one. You have provided an nice article!