ACA – Not Letting the House Burn to the Ground

Ever heard of the The South Fulton, Tennessee firefighters? They’re the ones that you may read about every year or so that let houses burn down if the resident didn’t pay the $75 annual fire department fee. The fire trucks will actually drive to the scene to make sure no lives are threatened and the fire is contained, but they will literally watch as the house burns to the ground. Needless to say this upsets a lot of people; if the firemen are on the scene, turn the hose on and help save the house! The logic applied though is that if they put one fire out for someone that did not pay the $75 fee, then nobody would pay the fee.  Payment of the $75 fee is not mandated by law.

Tennessee Fire

There is a lot of news lately about ObamaCare or shall I say more appropriately the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is a politically divisive topic, to say the least. ACA is extremely complex and rules are still being written, but I’d like to comment on one piece of it: the requirement for all citizens to obtain health insurance.

Ever heard of EMTALA – Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act? “It requires hospitals to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions.”

By mandating emergency care treatment to the uninsured and not mandating health insurance, as a society we’re basically saying you have to put the fire out, but you don’t have to pay the $75 fee. Economically this model fails. This is not the only reason the health industry in the US is broken, but it’s one of them.

So should everyone get health insurance or should we stop treating the uninsured? Gotta pick one.

Training Strategically

Last Sunday I placed 1st in my age group (males 35-39, field of 145) at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon Classic Distance #NauticaMalibuTri. After finishing I didn’t realize that I had even made the podium so we just took off – had to drive back to San Jose from LA. I would have liked a picture of me on the podium; never have had one of those. I attribute the win to a combination of great training, a good day and luck. Luck, meaning the reality is there are faster people than me, but they didn’t show up that day.

I’ve received a lot of congratulations this past week and questions about my training. One comment along the lines of “I thought triathletes spend all their time training.” I’ve been pondering this and the reality is I spend as little time possible “training”.  45-60 minutes in the weekday mornings, an approximate 10-mile run and 3 hour bike ride on the weekend. No workouts on Monday.  I’m a big multi-tasker so my morning workouts are done in my garage on a treadmill or bike-trainer while surfing among ESPN, CNBC, Bloomberg and local news.  I feel like I’m multi-tasking on my bike rides as well; I get a lot of thinking done and make a lot of decisions out there.

I have a full-time job and two daughters that keep me very busy.  My goal is that training never gets in the way of family or career.  Approached properly and strategically, it should complement those and enhance your overall quality of life. And if you stick with it and get a little lucky, you may get to climb up a podium.

Sean