Sunday, August 29, 2010

Postcard from Hawaii

Do you know these "postcards from XYZ" in The New Yorker which turn out to be long essays? Well, this is clearly not one of those. I just wanted to let you know that I have been in Hawaii, on the island Kauai to be precise, for the past few weeks. Hawaii is one of the states that is frequently cited as a model for health care reform since almost anybody here has health insurance, just like Massachusetts where I have been based for the past four years. However, there is one difference in that health care utilitzation here in Hawaii is lower and people seem to be healthier -- so I thought I'd pop in for a visit. Kidding, I have been here for a multi-week, European-style vacation. But why are people so healthy here? Is it the fresh air and the open-air architecture (which resembles other Pacific islands, as my wife remarks)? Or is it the healthy life style, lots of surfing etc.? Or could it be the diet? Actually, the diet seemed not particularly healthy, except for the higher amounts of fish. On the question of why people on one of the Southern-most Japanese islands, Okinawa, life so long (many around a hundred years!), there has been much attention. In any case, I hope to have caught the more positive influences, including some downtime. And after ending my vacation today, I will resume blogging about my observations on value strategies for health care after flying home. Please feel free to "subscribe to updates" on your right or by clicking here. Mahalo! (thank you in Hawaiian)


Anonymous said...

Ben, I was wondering something similar today. I guess it has to do with the sunshine. Have you looked into Spain, Italy, or southern California? Ever thought about using altitude/sun exposure as one of the main variable in the regression? :)

Ben said...

I actually just read an issue of the monthly "Monocole" which has an annual "quality of life survey". They claim that "[they've been] crunching the numbers for [their] survey of the top 25 liveable cities, But [they] know it’s not just about statistics."

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