An Alternative Health Perspective on a Bad Health Care Bill
The United States Senate just pushed through a vote on the health care bill. I am frankly quite upset about it. I simply do not want to be forced to buy conventional medical insurance when a) I honestly can't afford it right now b) what disposable income I do spend on health care, I prefer to spend on alternative health care.
I am one of those people constantly mentioned in the health care debate - one of the uninsured. I did apply for coverage some years ago but was denied due to my pre-existing condition, chronic fatigue syndrome. However, I have come to prefer paying out of pocket for my health care. And most of my health care is alternative in nature.
When I first had chronic fatigue syndrome, I went from doctor to doctor. None could help me, and some doubted whether I was really sick because the illness wasn't very well-known at the time. (I got it over 20 years ago!)
Since conventional medicine didn't help me at all, I had to turn to alternative methods. Here's what helps:
1. Energy Healing (Reiki, acupuncture, etc.)
2. Graded Exercise (yoga especially)
3. Stress Reduction
6. Lots of Rest (I sleep 8-10 hours per day, often with a nap)
Now. Yoga classes cost money. Going to the acupuncturist costs money. Doing other things that reduce my stress and make me healthier cost money.
Force me to buy conventional health insurance, and you remove my disposable income that I use to maintain my health.
Now, I do worry about something catastrophic happening, such as a broken leg on a ski slope, but I would much rather spend a little bit on catastrophic insurance, or have some sort of tax-free health savings account, than to be forced to spend hundreds if not thousands per month when I rarely go see conventional doctors. (When I need a pap smear, I pay out of pocket to Planned Parenthood.)
Forcing me to buy conventional medical insurance could have a serious, negative effect on my health. Really. I need that money to do those things which have made me better, and alternative medicine is not covered by most health insurers (and certainly I doubt I'll be able to find an alternative health insurance company that will pass the government's test for "adequate" insurance).
I am sure I am not the only one who will be unduly burdened by the conventional health insurance mandate.
Removing restrictions on pre-existing conditions is certainly helpful, but not if there is no provision to cap the costs for those of us who have chronic illnesses. Oh, great, I'll get the chance to buy insurance now...but at what? $2,000/month? I can't afford that. It will be cheaper for me to pay the penalty.
Now, I've noticed there seem to be three camps who feel strongly on this health care issue:
1. Conservatives who oppose bloated government social programs.
2. Progressives who have woken up and figured out the health care bill is a sham that is designed to line the pockets of the insurance companies.
3. Less informed Democrats/liberals who are caught up in marketing hype and think the health care reform should pass simply because it's "historic."
As I said on my Twitter account, just because something is historic doesn't make it good. The sinking of the Titanic was "historic."
I urge you, whether liberal or conservative, to really stop and consider whether this bill is going to help people like me.
If you are an alternative health care practitioner, I want you to consider how this bill is going to directly affect your business. You may indeed have fewer customers if this bill passes, simply because people who don't want insurance will now be forced to pay for it instead of paying you for your healing.
So, if you oppose the bill, like I do, get involved and write to congress NOW. From my understanding, the Senate and House bills need to be merged together and voted on before the final bill is presented to the president.
I pray that our government will get off this runaway train, scrap these poorly written bills and start over with simpler reforms that most Americans want. But any health care "reform" that forces all Americans to give money to private insurance companies is not reform at all - it is corporate fascism.