I have no plans to lobby in Washington, but I would
like to share a health reform idea with our elected
representatives and the inside-the-beltway crowd.
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 well above the posted speed limit.
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 touch
with their constituents or failed to attract
sufficient “likes” on Facebook.
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, and cash for coiffures.
Americans will feel great, there will be fewer cars
on the road, boat dealers will enjoy the upswing in
business and there will be no need to pull the plug
A whole country full of happy boating people is
everything our congresspersons could hope for,
particularly when they are faced with a complicated
issue like healthcare. This could be a win-win for
all. All we need is a slick name and let the social
media types have at it.