Single-Payer Health Care: Insurance or Care?

I don’t want single payer health insurance. Then the government gets to decide what kind of health care I get to have. At least at non-catestrophic levels, my insurance company does NOT decide that for me because I have an HSA. If the government did not prevent insurance competition, I would have more choices about who did my insuring. I could compare performance and how well they keep their agreements. Health care providers spend an absurd amount of time with billing because they cannot set their own rates. The insurance industry is utterly wound up with the government, and what we think of as health insurance is not even insurance! Insurance is supposed to be for emergencies, not provide regular care.

Let’s start by making a distinction between health care and health insurance. Health care is what you do to take care of your health (note the pronoun) with the doctor helping as needed. The better you care for yourself, the less you need from the doctor. The doctor is not some magical being that can wave a wand, and fix whatever long term damage you’ve done to yourself. Really good self-care should be obvious and should be rewarded. Let’s give an example. Sugar is everywhere. Lots of people eat sugar. It’s addictive. It’s also inflammatory. It screws up your digestion, reduces your immune function, stresses your adrenal glands, does bad things to your brain chemistry, and plays hell with your blood sugar. It causes type II diabetes. Eat it and you pay with your health. This is a handy example, but not the only one. One of my friends had fibromyalgia – a chronic pain condition. She was broke and spent a great deal of time talking about her pain levels. And she smoked. She ate reasonably well, but how is a smoking habit good healthcare? Especially when you’re broke? We’re not friends anymore, at least partly because I wanted to bang my head against a wall every time she commented on the subject. If a person raises their kids with minimal sugar and lots of fats and vitamins from pastured animals, the kids are healthy. They don’t have asthma, diabetes, emotional problems, weak immune systems or allergies. They don’t have to buy inhalers, psych meds, insulin, or allergy medicine, and they don’t get cavities. And if the mother was careful about her health while pregnant, the kids won’t even need braces.*

Insurance is, by definition, for emergencies. How much you pay is based on actuarial tables which is based on the statistical likelihood that a particular event will occur. It’s an gamble. Let me say that again. It’s a gamble. When you purchase auto insurance the company gives you rates based on your previous behavior. Why are health insurance companies vilified for doing what is the essential definition of the industry? How many “pre-existing conditions” are the result of behavior? Yes, stuff happens. Stuff has happened to me. But WHY should people who are treating their children with the level of care mentioned above be forced to pay for people who voluntarily eat lots of things that harm their bodies? In fact, some of them don’t. Voluntarily. Yes, Virginia, there are people who don’t participate in health insurance because they don’t WANT to. They work at their health, and SAVE money for emergencies. And if that doesn’t cover it, medical providers must allow you to pay off your bill at your own pace without fees or interest. What is the difference between paying up front (health insurance or single payer system) and paying on the back end? Because that is a gamble an individual can win.

What is ridiculous and amazing is that I can’t buy insurance based on my meticulous level of self-care. I settle for a high deductible plan with an HSA. (Which is now being taxed. Thanks Democrats. Thanks a bunch.) WHY should I be forced to participate in a health plan where I can’t even make that less appealing choice? What EXACTLY is fair about that? What is wrong with doctors getting paid what they are worth rather than having the government dictate what they can charge? And why the hell is making a profit EVIL? For crying out loud, this is my health and well-being we’re talking about here. I value it highly. We pay more for our food because we value the product. I don’t see how I should trust anyone else with the valuation (except my husband), especially the government which has a crappy record of serving those it claims to. In traditional societies the medicine person was valued, they got really good stuff and lots of status for the skills they offered. Medical school is expensive. If we don’t pay doctors what they are worth, hello, no one will want to go into the profession. In CT, we have HUSKY which is the low income health plan. It doesn’t pay doctors enough to cover their expenses. Guess how many doctors actually want to participate. Gods help you if you want an appointment. THAT is healthcare rationing.

*This is from eating a diet of traditional foods aka. Weston Price.


About selinarif

Selina came across Paganism around age 15 and it felt like coming home. She has been solitary, and worked in numerous circles, both formal and informal in several different traditions. She is a massage therapist, home-maker, amateur home re-modeler, and a martial artist, and ties all of these things into her spirituality.
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