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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Benefiting YOU | Summer 2020

President's Message

40th Anniversary

“We choose to go to the moon! We choose to go to the moon... We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

– John F. Kennedy

There was a lot of grumble about the Apollo 11 project when it was first announced. The President at that time, John F. Kennedy, needed to convince the Congress and the American people that it was imperative the US go to the moon.

He decided to do it with a speech.

The speech he gave called “We Choose to Go to the Moon” became famous. His rousing line in the speech was the line above.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this speech, particularly the last line. I often talk about empathy and why UnitedAg approaches healthcare the way it does.

But until now, I haven’t explicitly answered the follow-up question: Why us? Why now? The answer is in JFK’s line. I do it, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.

But why do we do hard things? Healthcare is so difficult to change that it’s hard to believe we will even make a difference. It’s been stuck in this systematic, cold, unempathetic way for a long time. For those who aren’t on a UnitedAg health plan, every single day is a reminder of that.

I thought about why I do the hard things in life.

A couple of years ago, I took a long hike to see Machu Picchu. It was four and a half days long and very difficult for me. Despite that, I was able to hike Macchu Picchu for a simple reason: because the trails were already there. You know that others have gone down the same path. That’s how you know it’s possible. I did the hard thing of hiking to Machu Picchu because I knew it was possible.

It’s a truism that things are often impossible until they are not. Going to the moon seemed impossible. Then, astronauts went up to the moon and made those permanent footsteps on the lunar surface. That made it easier for everybody else to go.

And that’s what UnitedAg is trying to do. We’re trying to make it possible for a newer, better version of healthcare. Healthcare that lives up to its name… and cares.

What we’re trying to do is create and discover those trails. We’re trying to leave those big footsteps so when people come after us, it’s not as hard. It’s not impossible anymore. All they have to do is to walk in the footsteps we’ve already made.

The footsteps we’ve made in the past 40 years, although new at the time, now seem inevitable. We’re sure the next 40 years will be the same.

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  • Kirti Mutatkar, CEO