Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Healthcare Entitlement vs Responsibility




Washington, we have a problem and it's called the US Health Care System. I work in this system and I know it's complexities. However, being up close and personal with it is really making me have some even stronger opinions.

First of all I applauded the Supreme Courts decisions to uphold the plan to institute what is being called Obamacare.  Having tried several years ago to get health insurance as an individual and being turned down, I'm all for striking down that you can prevent getting health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. And now that I have breast cancer, well... Certainly the plan isn't perfect and needs bipartisan work....but at least it's a start.

What has me on this tear? Two things. I received the explanation of benefits from my insurance for my June 15th outpatient surgery. I spend 10 hours at the hospital. $32,000 was paid to the hospital. . And yet they will not pay for massage, accupuncture or nutritional counseling etc to support the other side of healing. This is insanity at it's finest. I can see why we are in trouble....The second things is I went to a local employee owned grocery store to do some shopping as they offer a huge variety of products organic to conventional at a reasonable price. What I saw there was what is wrong with America and why it is costing us so much.....Simply we are a obese nation running on a poor diet and poor exercise. So many of the individuals were loaded up on sodas,snacks, fast foods etc. Not to mention more were seriously overweight then at a healthy weight. I had several organic produce items in my cart. As I was checking out I heard a sotto voice remark being made by one of the shoppers in my line about my being one of those health nuts. I probably should have just shrugged it off, but I really get tired of that mentality..So I whipped around and replied, "No I'm a just a average person who is eating to heal from breast cancer". Not much was said after that.

I'm not trying to be holier then thou, but it drove home a lesson. My parents from the time we were young, raised food and cooked regularly to feed the 5 of us i.e. not a good deal of processed food was in our diet. We weren't allowed that much junk. On occasion yes, but not that often. We were also encouraged to be active. I think that is why my siblings and I are not obese. In fact my doctor told me I was in excellent health with the exception of the cancer and why they feel I am healing well. So to change the system we have to start early and continually help work with people as they age. Another lesson that supports this comes from my dialysis clinic. Our patients who do the best are usually the ones who take more responsibility for directing their care and  are trying to stay active, eat right etc.

I was watching a show yesterday on Ayurvedic medicine. He stated that Western medicine takes out the bad, but doesn't put back in the good where Ayurvedic medicine practices this philosophy. I couldn't agree more. In utilizing the integrated approach I removed the tumor and it's effects, but now I'm taking the responsibility for helping the good come back into me.

In America we have the attitude of I can do what I want and medicine will fix me. It's time to end the attitude of entitlement. Rather we should be teaching ourselves and taking the reins of responsibility that I will do what I can for my well being and when it doesn't work, I will work with others to try and help me gain back my well being. It isn't blaming the victim, rather it's giving power to both the individual and the system to work mutually for the benefit of both.

Today I am grateful for the health care that I have received, but I am also grateful that there is a chance to change it and make it better so that it is around for generations to come.

Lindsey Buckingham, "Go Insane":



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