Sunday, August 23, 2009

Health USA: No country for young men

I am from England.

Until I came to America I didn't know what a financial burden the body could be.

Now I'm much older I can relax. Contrary to the idea that America is a land dedicated to youth is the fact that it looks after the old. Reach the gently sloping uplands of Medicare and you can quietly graze away.

I used to joke that one should spend one's youth in the West, specifically the States and then go East, to Turkey, to China - where reverence for youth gives way to reverence for age. But increasingly, as we are told, more money is spent on the last six months of life in the States, than any other time. Reverence indeed.

It seems America is obsessed with the first six months of life in the womb, and the last six months in bed. The first six months of life coming from zero to the last six months, going to zero.

In between, it's business as usual because your body is big business.

Ask your doctor. Tell your doctor. Ask your doctor. Tell your doctor.

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