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Opting out of Health Care, Primally.

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  • #31

    Monk, I am certainly not against medical intervention itself. What I'm against is medical intervention which does not work, and especially a huge industry, 1/6 of the national economy, which skims off money right and left, terrorizes people into forking out money they can ill afford, and then gives them treatment which leaves them still sick (or even sicker than before) and also homeless or bankrupt.

    I use herbs now and then -- I hand out the ginger tea recipe to anyone who shows the slightest sign of an upper respiratory problem. What I use works extremely well for me, and is extremely affordable.

    Unfortunately, the health care system as it is presently set up offers no incentive for research into low cost treatments, especially those which people can use themselves without help from a highly paid professional.

    As an example (and I don't know how the study made it through the gauntlet of self-serving millionaires) someone recently found out that putting duct tape on warts for 30 days works as well as having them burned off in a doctor's office.

    Annika, I certainly do not wish to imply that your professional services do not do people a lot of good.

    For quite awhile yet, people will be eating processed food, corn, soy, high fructose corn syrup, and avoiding healthy saturated fats and well-raised meat, etc. (preaching to the choir, I assume). Many of these people are going to die of things which they should never have had to suffer, and if they can be treated before the end stage of these diseases, so much the better.

    Suzan, that allopathic doctor who doesn't take insurance sounds like an incredible find! And he charges the right amount for a procedure, UNHEARD OF these days! If such a doctor were in my area, I might visit him as well now and then!

    As for cancer rates, I remember the Weston A. Price material, where the British colonial records showed no cancer at all in several groups of native people till they started eating Western food. Of course, none of us has eaten a wholesome hunter-gatherer diet our whole lives, so we are unlikely to equal such a record; but I think we should not have to cower in terror over the possibility that we might get cancer, as if it&#39;s just a matter of luck or <disgust> someone tells us it&#39;s God&#39;s will.

    If I felt a lump, or had sharp, unexplained internal pains, or if I were passing blood, or if I got very thirsty and my morning sugars were going sharply higher, or if I thought that I might have appendicitis, I would certainly find some kind of treatment. I haven&#39;t, so I don&#39;t look for any.

    I suffer some obvious osteoarthritis, especially in my left knee, and some age-related aching muscles. Doctors are notoriously bad at treating such things -- if I&#39;d come in with these complaints when they started to be a nuisance, I would probably have been put on Vioxx -- so I try to get to the heart of matters instead of paying a fortune for someone to paste bandaids over them while doing nothing to stop their progression. And I think things are going better since Primal Blueprint arrived in my mailbox a couple of weeks ago. Enough better that I&#39;m going to keep on keeping on for some time to come, without the INVALUABLE assistance of the U.S. medical industry.

    And as I said, my 65th birthday, just over a year away, is going to make the insurance debacle moot for me pretty soon anyway. I&#39;ll just try very hard never to use the entitlement.


    • #32

      About the anti-CW rhetoric, I concur.

      About health savings accounts:

      A health savings account is a tax-deferred investment. You can put money in every year up to a certain limit (I believe it&#39;s just over $5000/yr for a single account holder or about $11000/yr for a joint account between a married couple) that is not subject to the federal income tax. You can put this money anywhere you want, including banks, money markets, or even the stock market if you&#39;d like and any capital gains are not taxed. You can use this money for a wide variety of medical expenses, with much greater freedom than a health insurance company gives you. If you withdraw money for other purposes, it will be subject to federal income tax (and there may be a penalty as well, but I can&#39;t recall), but will have grown tax deferred (an advantage that I won&#39;t get into here). You can also dip into it penalty free to cover regular expenses if you&#39;re out of work due to injury or illness. Once you turn 65 you can withdraw without incurring any penalties (making it useful as a secondary retirement account, very similar to a Roth IRA).

      Health savings accounts should not be confused with medical savings accounts (MSAs) or flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Medical savings accounts are the predecessor to HSAs and I don&#39;t know much about them.

      A flexible spending account is a program offered by some employers (I believe instead of a traditional insurance policy) where each employee gets a certain credit every year to dedicate to medical expenses, again with more freedom than a health insurance policy. The money in a flexible spending account is not really yours. It&#39;s yours to use for the year, but it does not carry over from year to year.


      • #33

        Couldn&#39;t agree more! I was thinking about it the other day and it hit me: every ailment I&#39;ve ever had that I went to a CW doctor for, it has actually made me worse! No just that, but they purely treated a symptom as if it were a problem and never discovered a problem although it was glaringly obvious. Probably because they either didn&#39;t have an answer or didn&#39;t care enough to get interested. Shame really.


        • #34

          @piano-doctor-lady, I understand where you&#39;re coming from, and it&#39;s certainly your choice about your body. The reason why I advocate yearly checkups with doctors is because my father died in his 40s of brain cancer. His cancer would have gone undetected because he had no symptoms (some of which you mention in your post) and one day he just would have dropped dead. He did drop dead eventually, but the quality and lifespan was greatly increased because his cancer was detected and treated. The fact is, cancers are not just diet-based, they&#39;re also environmental. If you live in Northern NJ, for instance, you&#39;re more likely to get cancer, regardless of your diet. Sorry if I just offended anyone in NJ.

          I like to think of modern medicine as preventative rather than reactive. I haven&#39;t been sick since I had mono in high school, but that doesn&#39;t mean I&#39;ll forgo my yearly exam. It could just be that I have an excellent doctor who is on the same page - she checks me out and sends me on my way.


          • #35

            Gini, I certainly didn&#39;t mean to criticize your decisions about annual checkups! And if you have a person you trust, so much the better.

            This may sound perverse, but my feeling is that the healthier you are, the less danger you are in from annual checkups. They probably will never find anything, you&#39;ll have the sense of security from having your health approved, win/win.

            This assumes that the lab work won&#39;t come back with mistakes in it. Some people decided to test labs by sending in blood and urine samples taken at the same time to a number of different places. The results were eye-opening. Very different from place to place, and some of it was downright wrong. It just takes one of these errors to seriously unmake a healthy patient&#39;s day. (Sorry, I read this so long ago I have no idea where I found it.)

            So I intend to indulge in diagnostic lab work only if I truly feel I already have an urgent problem. Might I miss "getting it early" for some awful cancer? Maybe. Or might I avoid treating something which I wouldn&#39;t even know about without lab tests, which would go away on its own, where the treatments might be dangerous and costly? It is a possibility ... Avoiding checkups is a gamble, a tossup; but so, in my opinion, is the other way of doing it, with lots of medical supervision.

            Well, to each his or her own. Live long and prosper.


            • #36

              Mom&#39;s recent ambulance ride to ER, $600 (plus mileage!)

              Sister&#39;s recent breast biopsy via needle: $9000.

              I self-treat as much as I can, but some things cannot be. I think anyone who doesn&#39;t want health coverage and isn&#39;t wealthy is, well, a fool. It&#39;s a fact that those w/o coverage usually wind up in the ER and die at a higher rate. I think it&#39;s been figured that in Colorado, someone dies every day from having inadequate or too late care.

              We are the only industrialized nation w/o a national health care policy and automatic coverage by residency. We pay 50% more for worse outcomes by every measure. We shouldn&#39;t even be having a conversation like this, and wouldn&#39;t in 36 other countries. (Working on the presumption that most of us here are American residents.)

              One year, one month, and 26 days until Medicare. Not perfect, only 80% coverage, but a hell of a lot better than the coverage I have now. None.


              • #37

                I&#39;d pick the "cheapest" option you can get through your company.

                Like the catastrophic option with an HSA (once you fully fund it, you&#39;re golden).


                • #38

                  This isn&#39;t really a topic relating to nationalized vs private healthcare, and I don&#39;t think political debate will get us anywhere.

                  I know some companies will help fund an HSA for you in lieu of paying their portion of an insurance policy. This is the best of all worlds.


                  • #39

                    This thread wouldn&#39;t even be here except for the current politics of health care in America.


                    • #40

                      Sure it would. You can make arguments of public vs private health care without getting into the direction or purpose of medicine.

                      Alternately you can discuss standard western healthcare and ways to maximize your benefit from it, which is similar across most industrialized nations without getting into an argument about who provides the funding for healthcare (ultimately it&#39;s the consumer, whether it be through higher cost of living due to taxes and fees, or through personal expenditure).

                      Which of these two do you think is more conducive to improving knowledge and helping people to make diet, exercise, health, and lifestyle choices?


                      • #41

                        Everything has it&#39;s appropriate place, function, and context. A lot of people are upset about western, and rightfully so. But, let&#39;s not confuse medicine in America with medicine in the rest of the world. The medicine itself isn&#39;t bad, but the political/economic interest that drives the machine (and dictates education), is. No wonder that people are flying to India to have their life-saving surgeries.

                        Medicine has only ever been in small part a reflections of the necessities of the time. It&#39;s more influenced by the politics/ideology of the time, (and that comes down to money and power). This is true of all of the great systems of medical thought; oriental, ayruvedic, greek, and western. the fact that oriental and ayurvedic are wholistic and non-reductionist simply reflects the cultural mindset.

                        Western medicine became reductionist during the enlightenment (and in so doing, lost much of the european herbal tradition, because it could not be explained with reductionist theories). It then quickly progressed to battlefield medicine - which is really just trying to keep people alive, (which is also why it specializes in surgeries and removing things). Sometime thereafter the teaching institutions became funded by (and thus co-opted by) the new pharmaceutical industries. This was the final nail in the coffin of the traditional, european, herbal medicine.

                        I bring all of this up to point out that we all get upset (and rightfully so), that western medicine is not preventative, and that it is so ridiculously expensive. However, looking at the ideological and political framework that its based on, it couldn&#39;t be any other way.

                        and in this sense, western medicine is only a symptom of a societal/ideological disease. this disease also manifests as; the western diet, the wall street bail out and bonuses, the largest wealth and income gap of any country in the history of the planet (even more than pre-french revolutionary france), the largest percentage of the population in prison, a rapidly dwindling middle class, a collapsing commercial real estate market, the loss of habeus corpus, and on and on and on.

                        The point being, if the focus remains only on health care, without seeing the bigger picture, then this is nothing more than treating the symptom of a societal disease, instead of the disease itself. Suddenly, we&#39;re treating this issue the same way as a western doctor treats our illnesses - ibuprofen.

                        So, we&#39;re dropping out of the western diet, and western medicine (and I&#39;m right there with you), but what about everything else?


                        • #42

                          What about everything else?

                          We, as a world, are wealthier in all regards than at any other point in recorded history.

                          Even with exploding populations, the prices of food products have fallen dramatically around the world.

                          Rates of starvation and child malnutrition have gone down worldwide, in developing countries as well as developed countries.

                          Improvements in technology have made us safer, more productive, and more connected than at any point in history.

                          There are fewer instances of famine or epidemic diseases than ever before.

                          The lot of the poorest has improved as has the lot of the richest.

                          The ability to participate and trade in markets with other agents has always improved the lot of humanity, and the fewer restrictions on these markets and agents, the greater the benefits for all involved.

                          So, I&#39;m with you, Monk on the direction of health care, but what do you propose to do about "everything else?"


                          • #43

                            And I restate my earlier question, how does this discussion relate to the goal of this site of improving people&#39;s health and wellness by following the primal blueprint?