US Credit Default Fears? Think Health Instead
Managing Editor, CNBC.com
US credit downgrade? European meltdown? Job malaise?
There is plenty to worry about these days. But a couple of guests this morning reminded us that, at the end of the day, health is the critical thing. And yet we seem to be ignoring it.
"I think the biggest single epidemic coming down the road is going to be diabetes and the complications of diabetes over the years," said Ken Langone, the founder of Home Depot and a familiar face in Wall St. investment circles.
"Sixty-two percent of Americans overweight; 35 percent are obese," Mark Bertolini, Aetna chairman & CEO, pointed out. "And in our company, almost 40 percent of our costs, $64 billion a year we pay for health care, are related to people that are overweight and the diseases associated with it. So we just spent millions of dollars two years ago to inoculate Americans to save 10,000 people from the swine flu. And, yet, we lose that many a week due to obesity. We're not addressing that problem effectively as a nation."
Many say that our current financial crisis problems are the result ignoring looming dangers years ago. Are we repeating the error with life and death? Watch the full discussion in the video.