In all the talk about health care I have yet to hear discussion about one of the largest contributors to high cost. Many health related issues for adults stem back to what they experienced as children. If childhood can be a more positive experience costs will go down.
Research shows children who experience trauma have greater medical expenses in their lives. The more negative events the higher the cost of medical care.
This study is the ACE’s Study (Adverse Childhood Experiences Study). This study surveyed participants about 10 types of childhood trauma. It was discovered there is a direct correlation to what happens in youth affecting decision making later in life. Why?
The brain, during its formative years, learned to respond to trauma at the most basic level. In other words, these events stunted sophisticated brain interaction. When left untreated many use poor coping mechanisms, such as smoking, and overeating, their entire life. These habits cause higher health costs for this population.
The experiences surveyed were all things the child could not control. These include children who were sexually abused or neglected, or children who had a parent incarcerated. Not every one who experienced these adverse experiences make poor choices. Yet, many do.
Some tell this population to “suck it up, buttercup” and do better. Make better choices and you will get better results. We have all had adversity–learn to deal with it. This approach has not worked.
Personal accountability and responsibility are important. So is a proper treatment approach.
Proper and timely treatment to this population will go a long way to reducing health care costs in the long run. Yet, we are not having a national discussion about this.
The partisan exploitation of the health care discussion is preventing a reasonable dialogue. A dialogue which focuses on using medical and social research to find the best plan.
It is time for a real conversation about health care. One dealing with all the issues, not just the talking points of whichever Party is in control. Until this happens costs will continue to rise. And the United States will have an inferior system, and it won’t matter whether the national policy is a red one or a blue one.