Fix Health-Care: Pay your own way, not the insurance companies’

The health-care debate rages on, and there’s a lot of mud a-flying…. I went online the other day to try to find a copy of President Obama’s actual proposed healthcare plan plan, to educate myself on what it actually contains, instead of relying on all the rumors. Instead, I found thousands of pages of opinions on both sides, and really not much real information at all.

I don’t plan to get in the middle of this debate. For one thing, I don’t think the proposed plan really does much of anything to solve the actual problem. (However, at least someone is actually trying to do SOMETHING about this crisis — which may turn out to be one of the largest challenges our country has ever faced.)

But I did find one article that to me, sums up a large part of problem, if not the entire kit & caboodle. The headline of the article was: “Want to fix health-care? Put down the doughnut.” 

A little tongue-in-cheek perhaps, but it seemed to me that this pretty much hits the nail on the head.  Where is all of OUR responsibility in this issue? Everyone keeps saying “fix health-care,” but what about you? What about me?  The largest health issue facing us today is not doctors, hospitals, or health insurance, but our OWN lack of responsibility in maintaining our health!  There, I said it.

When our hospitals are overrun by people suffering all different kinds of complications from diabetes, heart-disease, and various other issues related to obesity, when are we going to realize the finger should be pointing at US, not the government! 

The president’s proposed plan offers some possible solutions (note I said “possible” — will they work? that remains to be seen) for the current system to cover more of the population, much of which is underserved. However, it doesn’t fix the real problem which is that we as a population are becoming more and more unhealthy!

So what do we do? How do we fix this, other than learning to “just say no” to supersize combos? We have to take responsibility. And that means, on all fronts. That means, we take our own health into our own hands. That means, we make a commitment to get healthy, and stay that way. That means, we seek out better food (preferably locally grown), we find ways to get sufficient exercise that we enjoy, we become more spiritually connected, and we learn about our own health and ways to combat things that might harm it. (Visit www.newholisticliving.com/holisticwellness.html for some ideas.)

That also means, we pay for our own health-care.  That’s right — YOU pay for your own healthcare!  Wow, what a concept. What have we come to as a society, that we expect someone else (the government, insurance companies, etc.) to take on our own personal medical expenses? Remember when you went to see a doctor (or the doctor came to your house), and when  you parted ways, you gave him some cash and said thanks and goodbye? Yeah, I thought not. (Not for most in the last couple of generations, anyway.)

In giving our health-care costs over to the care (or whims) of insurance companies, we have given up yet another aspect of our responsibility over our own health. 

But let’s talk about insurance for a moment.

What is the purpose of insurance anyway? The true purpose and useful place for insurance is in case of an emergency, or “just in case.” Just in case you get in an accident. Just in case your house burns down. Just in case you break your leg. Just in case….you decide to get a flu shot??  Not hardly.

An astronomical part of skyrocketing health-care costs is related to insurance. What should be a fairly simple process has gotten lost in a sea of paperwork, claim denials (did you know insurance companies actually hire people whose job it is to go through  your medical records and find reasons to deny your claims?), and bureacracy.

Let’s stop this nonsense.

Now that is not to say that insurance doesn’t have its place, medically. However, coverage should be “major medical” only, and EVERYONE should have it. If you have a heart attack, and need emergency triple-bypass surgery, you need insurance. If you have a broken leg, and have a bone sticking out, you need insurance. 

And there should be no exclusions for pre-existing conditions of any kind. HOWEVER, that is not to say it should all cost the same — if you’re 100 pounds overweight and have smoked a pack a day for 20 years, you should pay more than me, as you’re way more likely to need that triple-bypass surgery. (Same as the way life insurance companies price their policies based on a rating system.)

But if you need to go to the doctor for your yearly physical, or get a flu shot, or check out your sore throat, insurance has no part in this. (Or at least it shouldn’t.)  This is when you get out your checkbook.

But what about the cost? Medical costs have skyrocketed faster than most of us can even keep up with in recent years. This is due to a number of factors, and many are preventable.

For one thing, by taking responsibility and getting ourselves healthy in the first place, we will be eliminating the largest part of the problem right there (plus you won’t need to go to the doctor as much anyway, right?). Then, once you eliminate the insurance companies (for all but major medical claims), you are going to also get rid of a huge part of the cost.  And third, one of the fastest growing costs is prescription drugs, most of which are pointless, not to mention poisonous, and in many cases (if not most), do more harm than good.

And if you don’t have insurance, yes, prices may seem high if you think about that right now. However, what do you think would happen if no one had this thing we call “health insurance”?  It’s just a matter of supply & demand, then. Prices would come down, because now no one is getting paid, because most people can’t afford health-care at the currently ridiculous prices. (Which are ridiculous, and it’s only getting worse.)

So what would I tell the president? Forget about getting everyone covered by the insurance companies — just shut ’em down!

Not that this would ever happen, unless someday we actually have a dictator in power, or a monarch of some sort, who just takes over, disregards all the special interests and wealthy companies trying to stick their hands in his pocket, and does what is right for the people who elected him, instead of listening to all the clamoring nonsense around him.

Like I said, not that that would ever happen….

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About newholisticliving

Rose Hillbrand runs a blog and website dedicated to holistic living -- living a healthy, balanced lifestyle in all areas -- health, relationships, spirituality, and finances.
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2 Responses to Fix Health-Care: Pay your own way, not the insurance companies’

  1. Helene says:

    Interesting post. I am old enough to remember the doctor coming to our house when I was a child. My mother paid the doctor about $8, if my memory is correct. It couldn’t have been much because my parents were not well off. Insurance has definitely fed into the spiraling out of control health care costs. If we did not have health insurance, providers, including hospitals, would have to keep fees to what people could actually afford.

  2. Pingback: 2Health: How to take care of yourself. » Blog Archive » Take Charge of Your Health Care Carnival – September 15, 2009

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