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Opting out of Health Care, Primally.

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  • Opting out of Health Care, Primally.

    Just been mulling this over recently. My nutrition, sleep, exercise and all the trappings of Primal Living are fairly dialed in. I certainly feel better than ever; recent tests have shown all parameters (lipids, allergies, inflammation, blood pressure, dental health, etc) have all optimized. My body composition, functional strength, flexibility, etc are as fine as I can ever recall (turning 42 in May) through my life.

    I am comfortable with Primal Living and it is far more than a habit at this point. I do continue to read some books, and blogs that promote (as well as those that oppose our view: low fat, vegetarian, cardio based, etc) and this only reinforces this is the correct human lifestyle! Yay!

    It seems quite plausible, and I fully expect, to live out my days with zero need for further medical testing, intervention or fiddling. Barring a broken limb, an injury, trauma or infection, I should think Primal Living should carry any of us Primals through life without the myriad procedures, drugs, tests and interventions that are SOLD to the public daily. I plan on being that old spry guy still living independently in his home, that just doesn't wake up one morning long into his life.

    Wish I could opt out of paying for CW based health care and dietary/lifestyle recommendations that just make folks sick.

  • #2

    Acmebike, I couldn't agree more. I love that the PB has completely liberated me from relying on doctors for my health. The PB puts your health in your own hands, where it was meant to be.

    It's made me really think about whether modern medicine, with its narrow focus on treating symptoms, isn't making things much worse for a lot of patients. It sure did for me.

    If the primal diet could be made into a drug and patented, it would be considered a wonder cure for almost all ailments, and the commercials would never stop running on TV. Instead, we're pushed into Lipitor, Zelnorm, Xanax, Ambien, et cetera ad infinitum. Perhaps you've also known people who ended up on dozens of prescriptions, all while their underlying condition remained untreated and their health deteriorated.


    • #3

      Many people think I'm nuts, but I've pretty much opted-out of traditional health-care. At the age of 51, I've never had a colonoscopy or a mammography, and I don't plan on it. I don't take any medications or have any blood-tests. I know from the little machines here and there that my blood pressure and pulse are great.

      Basically, unless I step on a rusty nail or get hit by a truck, you won't see me at a doctor's office. (Heck, a few weeks ago I chopped off a big chunk of my right thumb, and handled it myself. It's healing up fantastically.)


      • #4

        I don't plan on needing maintenance health care. But for emergencies, yes. I'll keep the plan. I've had too many broken bones in the past, clutz that I am. Oy.

        Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
        Current weight: 199
        Goal: 145


        • #5

          I have to agree. Have had a surgical am no longer worried about issues there. I don't get colds or allergies now. I will have to keep a minimal plan for broken bones, etc. I play softball regularly, mountain bike, motorcycle ride, etc.

          Otherwise, I'm good.

          Even if you fall flat on your face, at least you're moving forward!


          • #6

            I'll keep mine, thanks.


            • #7

              Do you wonder how much of the damage 30 or whatever years of nonhealthy living can be repaired? I think we can do a lot to improve a lot, no matter when we start. But I also feel like I can't completely erase damage already done.


              • #8

                A pretty solid choice if you still want coverage but know you won't be making many scheduled doctor visits in the foreseeable future is to get a catastrophic health insurance plan (also called a high-deductible plan) and pair it with a health savings account.

                These plans have very high annual deductibles, in the range of $5000. You pay all medical expenses up to this amount out of pocket, and then the plan kicks in.

                A health savings account is a tax-advantaged savings account (any money you put in is not subject to federal income tax, provided you use it solely for health expenses) that you can use to cover medical expenses, including your deductible on the insurance policy.

                This covers you in the case of a catastrophic accident, but you're paying much less than with a traditional insurance plan.

                I'm in college right now and still covered under my parents' insurance through work, but I will be getting myself a HSA and a catastrophic insurance policy when I graduate.


                • #9

                  I've carried on quite happily with no health insurance since I left Canada in 1980.

                  I've paid dental expenses out of pocket, and I've had a little testing through a couple of naturopaths -- one excellent, one really bad -- over the years. Also one visit to a health fair many years ago, which gave me a lipid profile and some blood work to compare to later.

                  It irritated me a lot when dental insurance became common, and the cost of procedures tripled. It wasn't ME who was generating all that paperwork, after all!

                  I use a little glucometer quite often to keep track of my morning blood sugar. It's very good to have this little gadget, and not to be dependent on a doctor to get it or the strips it uses. This shows me every morning how my low-carbing is going, and whether or not I should have a little fruit, or whether exercise was just enough, or too much. (Cortisol -- higher BG numbers)

                  It seems to me that after people have been Primal for several years, and all the rest of their health is doing great, they may not be quite as likely to break bones in a fall than they used to be, if they've had several years of plenty of protein for bone matrix, and lots of good minerals not leached by phytates, and enough sunshine for Vitamin D.

                  In general, if people hear that I have no health insurance, they are aghast. But on the contrary, I feel it is sort of a safety feature. When doctors make mistakes, they make BAD mistakes! And in my opinion, they give people a false sense of security. This or that is being "treated" so people don't think hard enough about what they themselves should do to fix the sources of the problem. I find that many treatments are palliatives at best, papering over the disease processes which continue to worsen, hidden by drugs. And if people are fairly ill to begin with, often the side effects are worse than the conditions being treated. Some common drugs like statins I think are just bad science and should never be given to anybody.

                  Hospitals are more and more dangerous because of antibiotic-resistant infections. If you absolutely must be there, of course you should be; but if there is any alternative at all, I think it's safer to stay out of hospitals.

                  There is luckily a fail-safe for someone my age. In a year and a half, I turn 65 and can sign up for Medicare. I plan to sign up, but will try my very hardest never EVER to avail myself of their services! But it would be reassuring to know that if I were in an auto accident, I wouldn't have to go bankrupt to get patched up.


                  • #10

                    Seeing as auto insurance is mandatory in nearly every state (and in those states where it's not required drivers must prove financial stability to have the requirement waived) I doubt you'd have trouble paying for medical expenses from an accident.

                    In my mind, insurance of some sort is necessary just in case of other unforeseen accidents. The primal blueprint doesn't afford one invincibility, though that attitude seems prevalent on these boards.

                    Now, I use the term insurance loosely. You can self-insure by saving a certain amount every year in case of medical expenses, or you can use any insurance policy.

                    Counting on your diet and exercise to prevent accidental injury is just foolhardy. Yes your bones may be stronger, but they are not unbreakable.

                    I also agree that modern healthcare is going in the wrong direction and in many cases is misguided in its attempts and efforts, but it is still incredibly effective. Modern life expectancy is higher than paleolithic life expectancy. This is due in large part to the quality of medical care.

                    While it's unlikely a broken bone would be a literal death sentence today, it could be a financial death sentence if you have no plan to pay for your medical costs.


                    • #11

                      Wow this hit on the right day. I actually canceled a Dr appt that my mom kept nagging me to set up that I was supposed to go to today.

                      I have a tendency to get boils (I know it's gross...) from being overweight... well now that I am losing weight so quickly plus eating healthily I haven't seen or felt one in 3 weeks... I decided it was a good time to not go to the doctor... because if this is fixing itself why pay the 20 dollar co-pay in the first place. I will go to the dentist and get my annual woman check done just because it has been ground into me... otherwise... I am with Greg get yourself a HIGH LIABILITY insurance plan and a good HSA and you are covered!

                      Live Like No One Else



                      • #12

                        Hi, Greg

                        I do have money enough to get myself treated for a broken bone, and my auto insurance would cover a MODEST injury from an accident -- but a major accident would bankrupt almost anyone these days, even those who thought they had good coverage. Hospitals can run up tens of thousands of dollars a day as soon as sneeze.

                        I am not anti-insurance in general -- I have house insurance, for instance. I'm just anti-health-insurance because it's set up so badly, it has so much corruption, and the health treatments it pays for are so often ill-advised themselves. It's the opposite of a sound insurance practice, which uses a big pool of people who will never need to make a claim to pay a little each so that the small minority who need the service can get it paid for. Insuring for a certain and predictable expense is madness.

                        In short, I think our trouble isn't lack of health insurance, it's lack of health. If almost everyone is headed toward near-certain serious degenerative disease, absolutely no insurance program or government aid will be able to pay for it.


                        • #13

                          See my first post. I agree the standard health insurance is bunk.


                          • #14

                            Greg, P.S.

                            If our life expectancy is better than Grok's, I put it down to better neonatal care, and public health measures like hygiene, sewage treatment, and inoculation, not to conventional medical treatment. Also to building codes, better design of automobiles (crumple zones) and regulation of hazardous substances, not that Grok had to encounter our thousands of chemicals or drive our cars.

                            I think that medicine has gone seriously astray when a procedure like setting a normal uncomplicated broken bone takes someone's whole life savings. And I think that while anyone can have a bone broken in an accident, an uncomplicated fall shouldn't break anything in a healthy person. Maybe bruises, maybe very troubling strains and tendon problems, but not outright breakage.

                            My opinion only ...


                            • #15

                              Mandabear, BRAVO!!

                              You're on your way!