Christmas Gifts and New Year’s Resolutions

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Reading a blog less than a week before Christmas probably isn’t the top thing on your priority list. It also happens to be the last blog for this year which automatically switches us into reviewing this year. I’m not going to get long winded and go into a full blown auld lang syne, but I will reminisce a little and then cover a few gifts that we should be asking for this Christmas and resolutions we should make.

It was an eventful year from both a healthcare and political perspective. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) became law and changed Medicare in some very basic ways. While some of the changes won’t be implemented for a few years, the impact of those changes could be felt much sooner. How those changes are implemented will also determine who is impacted and the severity of those impacts. It will ultimately come down to how much we allow the government to dictate prices and our access to medicines. The change in control of the House might allow some moderation of the impact of price controls but it’s difficult to predict what will happen since both the House and the Senate will be working with very small majorities. I most certainly will be discussing some of these questions next year. It was a year for returning to almost normal and if we decide to take advantage of the preventive medicines available to us, we have the ability to remove the almost from the statement above. It has certainly been an eventful year.

There are a few gifts and end of year resolutions that we can give to ourselves this Christmas and resolve to do starting this new year.

  • Life improving and life saving vaccinations – We owe it to ourselves and as a gift to our families that we will be seeing this holiday season to get the latest COVID-19 booster and flu shot. We need to protect both ourselves and our families. The older among us are once again enduring the brunt of those who are dying of COVID-19 and the flu. It doesn’t have to be that way – get vaccinated.
  • Get involved in your own health – One of the basic gifts Americans often fail to recognize is the gift of choice. We have great power over who provides our healthcare and the level of care we receive, but it takes action on our part to exercise this power of choice. It takes research and information gathering but it can make a big difference as we face the health changes that come with getting older.
  • Know how the changes proposed by our government will affect you – Is the government getting more involved in our healthcare or less? The changes to Medicare that are part of the IRA very plainly point to an increase in government involvement. Is that good? Has more government involvement in our healthcare in the past helped our access? We once again need to get active in promoting those things that increase our access to life saving medicines and procedures and reject those changes that reduce choices and present barriers to access.
  • Return to your healthcare providers – Many of us put off going to the doctor or other providers during because of the pandemic. It’s time to take inventory and identify what you need to do to catch up and keep up with those preventative measures that keep us from getting sick and help identify health problems quickly and early so we can take quick action.

One last thing, I’m convinced there are astounding discoveries on the horizon that will have the power to cure. I have high hopes that we are close to some huge life improving and life saving breakthroughs. I’m going to have the opportunity to go to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. There has been a big increase in the number of medical devices that have been created and are in the process of being developed that could have a huge impact on how and where our healthcare is provided. Think of your Fitbit with the ability to provide a 24-hour EKG. I will report on the interesting things that I see at the show.

I look forward to next year and keeping you informed on the impact of both proposed changes and the implementation of existing laws. Information is power and I hope we can use that power to influence those who represent us in Washington.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Thair

p.s. We won’t have a blog next week or the week after. It’s a good time for a break. See you next year.

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