House Calls: Medical Insurance Mythology in America
By Julie Crist, L. Ac. Depending on whom you ask, about 55 million Americans do not have health insurance. The medical industry that kills 800,000 Americans every year--our leading cause of death--and gouges the rest of us, wants to make sure that you are suitably terrified of not having “health insurance,” because if everybody caught on to the scam, it would put an end to their fountain of money.We are conditioned to equate “uninsured” with trailer trash, and to panic at--GOD FORBID!-- the thought of not having that comforting little card for which you have slaved away at, quite often, a wretched job you hate for most of your life, tucked away in your wallet. The only reason I say this is because people tell me that very thing quite often, and I have seen otherwise sane people scrape and scramble to gratefully lick the boots of any schmo who offers them some sort of drudgery at slave wages as long as it includes BENEFITS! In the entire history of the world, NOBODY had any health in¬surance until just 80 years ago. Even today, the vast majority of Earthlings do not have “health insurance.” The “health care/insurance” industry has nothing to do with health. They will sling high infant mortality and short life span num¬bers around like cow pies at a chip throwing contest, but the fact is that access to clean water, food supply integrity, educa¬tion, sanitation, and not having the crap bombed out of your country by the U.S. are the only factors that result in great leaps in people’s health and quality of life. Anyone telling you any dif¬ferently is probably an agent for the medical cartel, whether they know it or not.In fact, we here in America, who once had all those ad¬van¬tages, are losing them, and it is evident in our health. We have more medical mafia interference than ever, and our life expec¬tancy is dropping. Whether your food supply and water are dirty because pigs poop in it, or Monsanto poops in it, makes no difference. We are losing our clean water and food in the U.S. We are voluntarily and involuntarily exposing ourselves daily to dangerous, mutagenic radiation in the form of x-rays, scan¬ners, microwaves and cell phones, and our increasing police state brutality and its impending non-compliant peasant hunt¬ing drone program are a match for any Third World thuggery. No amount of “insurance” is preventing our slide down to match the “undeveloped” nations in medical misery and mor¬tality. Yay for us. We are number one. Most Americans live in a bizarre fantasy that is about fifty percent denial and fifty percent pure pretend. “You will get sick without health insurance” is one of hugest, most sacred of American myths. I already know that the subscribers to this myth don’t want to be bothered by facts, and if it makes you feel any better, I already feel like a wet, muddy dog scratching for¬lornly at the door of your brain. I know it’s not going to open, but I can’t help myself.FACT: The medical system won't make you healthy. In fact, the medical system kills more people than any other dis¬ease on the planet. In 2001, heart disease killed 699,697 peo¬ple, cancer killed 553,251, and the medical system killed 783,936, more than any other cause of death, according to Death By Medicine, a report by a group of independent MD re¬searchers. According to the Nutrition Institute of America, over 2.2 million people are injured every year by prescription drugs alone.Think about it--who told you you need medical insurance to stay healthy and why do you believe that?When people find out I haven't had a medical policy for most of my life, they get a little freaked out. “Well, but, uh, what..how…do you go to the doctor?" If you have medical insurance, that likely means you are run¬ning to the doctor for problems he can’t fix. Every year, 7.5 million people have unnecessary medical procedures, and 8.9 million are needlessly hospitalized. The healthiest people I see in my office, including me, do NOT use the corporate medical system for anything but real emergencies, and most of those can be avoided by not being stupid. I have patients who are in their eighties and nineties who simply do not go the doctor. In¬stead, they take RESPONSIBILITY for their own health by eating right, exercising, enjoying life, and just saying no to drugs that their friends garbage down by the handful several times a day. FACT: If you are slaving away at a hideous job that you hate so you can have benefits, that’s great--you’ll need them. Com¬bined with bad diet and laziness, that kind of unhappiness and stress will kill you.FACT: Most people driven into debt and bankruptcy by medical bills have health insurance. According to the Reader's Digest, between 2000 and 2003, seven in ten adults who were driven into debt by medical expenses had insurance at the time. Sixty-two percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were linked to medical expenses, according to the American Journal of Medi¬cine. Of those who filed for bankruptcy in 2007, nearly 80 per¬cent had health insurance.FACT: Health insurance is not overpriced.I study what people eat. It's part of my job. If I had to insure most of you based on your health habits, I'd charge out the ying-yang, too. Is the health insurance mafia greedy, and predatory? Sure. In fact, it is so dangerous that they scared the federal government into turning the entire country over to their protection racket. You want medical and insurance costs to go down? Quit running to the doctor or the emergency room for every little thing. Quit making yourself sick with your bad habits. Learn how to get healthy and stay healthy, how to care for your fam¬ily’s health. If there are crowds of unoccupied doctors sitting around with trunks full of unneeded drugs, guess what hap¬pens--competition. Costs go down. (Or they figure out a way to dump it in your water supply and charge you for it anyway.) Pick an issue--medical price gouging, GMO food, fluoridated water, whatever--and fight back like your life depended on it. Responsibility equals power. If you give responsibility for your own health away to insurance and medical corporations, you exist as a powerless dependent at their whim, as you should.Could I have an expensive medical emergency? Sure I could. We try to save and prepare for that possibility. But I also know that serious emergencies are a tiny fraction of hos¬pital visits. Out of 116.8 million emergency room visits last year, only 12.5 percent were bad enough to be admitted. If 87.5 percent of emergency room visits were not serious enough for them to ad¬mit you, a conservative guess might be about 50 percent of those visits could have been avoided or cared for at home with basic self-care. Learn how to take care of your own body and what to do in an emergency. Take CPR and first aid, and then dig deeper to learn more. Americans need to understand this: Things are bad and they’re going to get worse. If you have insurance, good for you, but people who think they will die without insurance probably will because they are focusing on the wrong thing. You can be healthy without insurance, but you have to GROW UP. I actually have adults tell me they can’t eat healthy because they “Don’t like the way it tastes,” or “I like my ice cream too much to give it up,” or, “That exercise stuff is too much work.” I hear this often. I (and probably most other doctors) love to say, “What are you, five?” but that is bad bedside manner. Most of these people want magic pills or voodoo treatments to “fix” them. Do I have to say how ridiculous this is?What all this means is that insurance--ANY insurance, including Obummer Care--not only won’t solve ANY of our health problems, and will absolutely, without a doubt, make them worse, as more people give up even trying to stay healthy because they have a magic get out of jail card in their wallet. Most people are terrified to take any independent health care measures. Remember when people drove across the country in covered wagons with no doctor and no insurance card and treated everything with bacon grease and a bottle of vinegar? They managed to survive somehow. What has hap¬pened to Americans? I’m thinking corporate brainwashing, but that’s just me.A rich and toxic diet, high-tech poisoning, or medical intervention, NOT a lack of insurance, causes nearly all of the dis¬ease in this country. No insurance? Keep away from those three things and you’ll likely be fine.Julie Crist, L. Ac., is a licensed acupuncturist at Acuplanet Acu¬puncture. Her business is located in the Town Center building in downtown Colville.