Health Insurance, Obamacare and True Health

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There’s been a lot of talk about the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as “Obamacare”) in the last several months. In this article I discuss a few points that are not at all addressed in the mainstream media, such as the complete failure of conventional ambien medicine when it comes to the treatment of many chronic health conditions. My goal is to frame the arguments in a whole new light and to address what I believe are the most important issues regarding healthcare and health insurance.

First, some background: In the mid-eighties after college when I worked as a process engineer for an electronics company I had an opportunity to choose my health insurance plan. It did not take much deliberation for me to choose a PPO plan, even when many of my co-workers chose HMOs (presumably because the co-pays for HMOs were less than for a PPO; at least that’s what I was told when I polled a few colleagues). I chose a PPO plan because I felt I would have more of a choice in what health treatment options were available to me and I felt confident in making those choices. I also felt that having a choice was critical in the case where the standard wasn’t realizing consistently successful outcomes.

Then when I began working for the Philips Research and Development Center in Sunnyvale, CA in 1990 I again signed up for a PPO health plan. I remember talking to my boss, a lady with a PhD in physics, about health and health insurance and I explained to her that besides getting a diagnosis, I would only use the services of a regular MD doctor in the case of a real “emergency.” Back then I wasn’t yet clear in my own mind what constituted an actual emergency, besides breaking a leg or getting into a car accident, but today, 22 years later, I am clear on the distinctions.

Later when I was a graduate student and I became pregnant, I was lucky that my husband had a PPO plan (that’s the health insurance coverage we chose) that covered my certified nurse midwife as well as home birth–for both of my babies. I had both of my babies at home and my health insurance covered both of the births!

Around 2005, a few years after the Clinton presidency, I remember an acquaintance bringing up the issue of national healthcare–an idea he, I learned, despised. But the idea of healthcare coverage for everyone wasn’t all that interesting to me, what was more interesting was the kind of healthcare that was available. “Frankly, even if it was free I wouldn’t want most of it,” is what I told him. Of course, I was referring to the treatment of chronic illness–an area that MDs have a horrible record in, because they’re only trained in one area of medicine called “allopathic” medicine. And one of my party lines used to be, “People need to be responsible for their own health and well-being.”

Well, sometime next year I will be in a position to consider a new health insurance for my family. And just recently, I’ve learned what kind of health insurance I would be interested in investing in: catastrophic health care insurance.  Catastrophic health care insurance includes trauma care for when you break a leg skiing, or are in a car accident and heaven forbid you need to be taken to the emergency room to be stabilized and/or sewn up. Catastrophic health insurance also covers sports injuries–such as when my daughter fractured (and bent) her shin bone during a soccer game a few years ago and needed hospital treatment, a full leg cast and crutches. In other words, it covers when a part of your body is injured or broken and needs to fixed, as when a leg of a chair gets broken and can be fixed so that it’s as good as new by the right person with the right tools. The MDs are king at this “Newtonian” type of medicine that involves using tools to fix or put back together body parts.

However when it comes to the treatment of chronic illness such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, skin conditions, etc., etc., conditions that involve the whole body, MDs in my opinion have really nothing to offer. They do not believe that your body can get better, they do not believe that you can heal from a chronic condition once you have it, and to them the only available option is to manage your symptoms with drugs and surgery.

Furthermore when someone does manage to cure themselves by changing their diet and lifestyle and maybe taking supplements, the MD profession is not interested in knowing what helped cure the condition. Healing and being cured does not fit into their worldview so the profession sticks its head in the sand. That’s because the only treatment that’s in the MD’s toolbox is drugs and surgery, drugs and surgery–which is lucrative of course for them, but it does not get to the root cause of a problem and only manages its symptoms. To me this is the bigger problem lurking underneath the problem of health insurance and Obamacare.

Chronic health conditions exist because of two main reasons:

  1. People eat foods that are toxic to the body or take substances (food and medicines) that deplete the body of nutrients
  2. People do not get all the nutrients they need every day for optimal functioning

In my opinion this country would be a lot better off if we offered catastrophic health care coverage for everyone; not comprehensive coverage. So everyone who breaks an arm or gets a bullet in the leg is covered. However for chronic conditions I would not pour any more money into allopathic medicine–a system that has been shown not only to not work, it’s actually designed to fail.

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