I didn't go to a town hall meeting but I would
like to share a health reform idea with our
elected representatives and the inside-the-beltway
What I will tell you has been pretty much
boating's secret but it's time we told the rest of
the world. Are you sitting down?
Boaters are healthier.
A lot of people will doubt that assertion, I know.
We have all known individual boaters who were not
careful, such as those who venture out into rough
seas or manage to get their fingers smashed
between the boat and the dock.
But the non-boating world has its reckless types,
too. Vic and I keep wondering why we have to pay
the doctors and hospitals who try to save the life
of the motorcycle rider without insurance and
without a helmet who crashes while weaving in and
out of traffic.
But, as a group, boaters report they are healthier
than other Americans. The online survey of 542
boat owners and 536 non-boat owners was conducted
by Impulse Research Corporation for the boating
It turns out that boat owners rated their overall
well-being, health, work, leisure, sleep and
finances as “very good” or “excellent.” They also
reported higher levels of satisfaction in marriage
and romance than non-boaters. These are the kinds
of people the insurance companies love.
Conversely, non-boaters told researchers they felt
“useless, lonely, unhappy and fatigued.” Oh my.
They must have polled some congressmen who lost
control of their own town hall meetings.
Studies suggest that children of boaters are
healthier, too. Another boating industry survey
showed that kids who boat were healthier
physically and psychologically. They were more
outgoing, more optimistic, more self-confident,
more likely to be team players, more likely to be
peer group leaders, and more likely to keep their
pants hitched up.
Okay, I just made up the part about the pants.
Anyway, the research also showed that boating kids
were more likely to do household chores and help
with cooking. They have more interests. They
regularly participate in eight activities while
non-boating kids averaged only four. Another
family bonus: boating children spent more quality
time with parents, even in non-boating months.
So, to my point. I know how Congress can make
Americans healthier. Give every person a boat.
Yes. In place of a health care bill that few have
read and nobody can understand, how about a simple
boat voucher program that puts Americans on the
road (water?) to good health.
The program will probably save money, too, not
that money is a consideration in DC. (Or, if it
is, they could just call it a stimulus. I'm sure
they will stipulate a new marina on the Potomac,
just for the people's elected representatives,
don't you know.)
Boat vouchers will be better than cash for
clunkers, cash for appliances, cash for coiffures.
Americans will feel great, there will be fewer
cars on the road, boat dealers can stay in
business, and there will be no need to pull the
plug on grandma.
A whole country full of happy boating people is
everything our congresspersons could hope for,
particularly when they schedule town hall