A while back

(like um… March – bad blogger!)

Anyway, a while back, we had a special guest visit my job – former governor and presidential candidate and current political talk show host Mike Huckabee.

 Meeting Huckabee

Politically, he and I agree on a lot of topics. His visit was at the height of the bank/financial collapse/bailout situation, and it was quite entertaining to hear him vent about giving more money to people who wasted it in the first place.

Because of my job, I was invited to a smaller breakfast (the picture above), before he spoke to the larger audience. He mentioned a little bit about his Type 2 diabetes and his personal strategies for getting back in shape. I am impressed by his personal story – he lost 110 pounds and ran a marathon in his attempts to get back in shape after his diagnosis.

But his strategies for health care are also where I think he gets slightly and potentially dangerously off track. I am currently working my way through his book From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 STOPs to Restoring America’s Greatness (written before his presidential bid) and he has a very interesting chapter on health care.

For example he states that, “Seventy-five percent of America’s health care costs are due to chronic disease. And chronic disease is what causes people to limp and crawl to the finish line of like instead of getting to the finish line still on the go. Over 80 percent of a person’s liketime health care expesnes are incurred in the last eighteen months of life – mostly due to the effects of chronic diease” (p. 58).

He goes on to state that instead of spending money on the treatment of chronic disease we shoud be spending money on the prevention. Don’t get me wrong, I mostly agree with that statement. But I am also nervous about philosophy like that taking money away from funding better medications and improving technologies like insulin pumps and CGMS devices.

I’m sure he doesn’t even remember it, but after his speech and jam session on his guitar, while he was signing my book, I reminded him to not forget those of us with chronic illnesses who are still waiting for our cures.


Meeting HuckabeeMeeting HuckabeeMeeting Huckabee


On a totally different topic, during his speech to the larger audience he talked about figuring out what we are meant to do, and I think it was one of the best analogies I have ever heard. Huckabee loves boats and fishing so he described a person who loved boats and subscribed to boat magazines, read everything he could about boats, drew pictures of boats, went to conferences about boats, talked to friends and strangers about boats, wrote about boats, went to visit his boat in a dry dock, polished his boat, added bells and whistles to the boat, and basically revovled his life around his boat.

But what’s missing? The guy never put his boat in the water. What is the point of having a boat if you don’t use it? Sure the boat might get a little banged up and you might hit some heavy surf, but isn’t that what makes having a boat worth it?

Meeting Huckabee


  • In theory, money saved on healthcare from effective prevention initiatives could then be reinvested in care for unpreventable chronic conditions… but that would be the ideal scenario I guess, and who knows if it would unfold like that? It is worrisome that money for diabetes care could get distributed in such a way that wouldn’t benefit us since most people perceive “diabetes” as “preventable”.

    That is an interesting analogy, one that I’m going to think about since I feel like I haven’t quite found exactly what I’m meant to do. And I agree with CALpumper – that is a really nice picture!

  • Love the analogy.

    I think prevention has to go two ways.

    One – to prevent the disease.

    Two – to PREVENT the complications that can occur from the disease.

    I think preventing complications means investing in new and better drugs/treatments, while saving on all the healthcare costs that can occur from a lack of care.

  • You rock! How much fun is that!

    I suppose some prevention issues are valid for T1’s, but we have the disease already. We can manage well each day, but we still have to manage well each day. I want my pump to be improved. My transmitter and sensor could use a tune up, too. Research is the key! Without it we are standing still and perhaps sliding backward.

    Thanks for the post.

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