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Independant OTR Free Healthcare

by Randall Nipper
(Cabot, Ar)

Many drivers complain of the the salary restricted by the 70 hr workweek, fuel taxes fuel incentive rates. But nothing is done about it. I propose to legislate free healthcare to Independant OTR to be paid for by DOT merchants. How can this happen?

Reply from Vicki:

Hello, Randall. Thanks for asking a question through our website, particularly as it concerns health and wellness.

If I may, I need to take a giant step backwards to address the issue of health care.

First, it never has been and never will be free. Someone will always have to pay for
- either the time, products or services that are put into keeping one healthy;
- or the products and services that help restore health and wellness.

From the time we were born until we were no longer under their care (and insurance policies), our parents or guardians paid for our health care. This may include eating nutritious food, getting enough sleep and exercise, taking vitamins and supplements, visiting the doctor, etc.

When we were old enough,
- either we started to take care of our own insurance
- or we got someone else (or a government agency) to help pay for it.

In neither case has health care ever been "free" because someone has to pay for it. In the USA, some poor people and the elderly (the latter of whom are forced onto a government program) have at least part of their health care paid for by the taxpayers.

OK, now let's look at the situation you mentioned about having the healthcare of some professional truck drivers paid for by "DOT merchants".

Specifically, who are these people? Why should they be saddled with the healthcare of that group of truckers?

If such a measure was "legislated", don't you think that the "DOT merchants" would simply pass along that cost to their consumers? (You had better believe they would!)

And why pay only for the healthcare of independent OTR truckers and not all truckers?

As a point of reference, here's what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says concerning long-haul truck drivers:

"Truck drivers have a greater chance for many chronic diseases and health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity compared to U.S. adult workers.2 In 2012, the rate for nonfatal injuries in heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was three times greater than the rate for U.S. adult workers."

Some truckers don't care as much as they should about their own health, and in that respect, it shouldn't be someone else's responsibility to foot the bill for their health care.

So, how can your idea be put into place? From what I can tell, it will only happen through a system of government that intends to completely take over this aspect of some truckers' lives.

While I respect your perspective, I disagree with your premise (or question). I personally wouldn't want to be under a system where I was told what I can or cannot have as far as my health care is concerned. And I hope that many others in the trucking industry agree with me.

Please consider the long-range implications of what you have asked and reconsider. In my opinion, we need more freedom to choose our health and wellness options in the USA, not less.

If you are a professional truck driver, my husband Mike and I wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.

Best regards,
Vicki Simons

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