What are you doing for Father's Day - a backyard BBQ? A fishing trip? A round of golf with dad? No matter how you choose to celebrate, the most important part is with whom you to choose to celebrate. Father's Day gives us a chance to spend time with the men closest to us; sons, fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles and friends. They've given us a lot, and today we get to give back to them. Haven't thought of the perfect gift yet? Instead of scouring the card aisle, perhaps a simple reminder on how to stay healthy will do.
Men have unique health concerns that adversely affect them. Cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease remain near the top of the list of top causes of death in American men. Furthermore, men visit a doctor far less frequently than women, on average. Despite these factors, the average life expectancy for men in our country has risen considerably over the past 40 or so years. In 1970, men expected to live to roughly 70 years old. In 2014? A full six years longer. How did this happen? I've pinpointed two main tools to building better health care:
The discovery and development of new treatments that produce real results require dedication from all across the health care community, scientists, doctors and regulators alike. But before a medicine can reach patients, those regulators must ensure that it performs as expected. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives its stamp of approval to all therapies in use today. In 2015, the agency set a new record by approving 45 new products, and they're doing it with the help of effective public policies. Initiatives such as the Prescription Drug User Fee Act provide the resources and information necessary to assess, improve and approve quality medicines for patients nationwide. Our dads deserve the best, especially when it comes to treatment, and the FDA helps make that happen.
Americans need the ability to access a comprehensive range of treatments for a variety of conditions, especially as they grow older. Medicare, and specific components like Medicare Part D, covers patients' prescription medications needs at prices that keep more money in their pockets. For more than six years, monthly premiums for Part D have held steady, hovering around $30 per month. In 2016, premiums for basic coverage start at just $32.50. Signing up can help Dad stay happy, healthy and help him save up for that new toy or adventure.
Programs like these provide the tools needed to keep our fathers, and all Americans, in good health. This Father's Day, do your dad a favor and remind him to take advantage!