With all the fuss about health insurance in this country it is high time people start to look at that which blooms from the earth in a very different light. Though there are most certainly circumstances for which standard health care is crucial and necessary, for most people and for more of the population than anyone cares to realize, health insurance grows around them on the trees and in the garden.
What is health insurance, exactly? Insurance, or the act of insuring, means “to protect or safeguard against loss” or to “back up or reimburse” in case anything goes wrong – in this case, with the body. So, where “health insurance” ought to be there to protect or safeguard against the loss of health it does not really seem that insurance as it is set up in the U.S. is meeting this criteria. For all intents and purposes, health insurance as it is has become accident-insurance, weighing more heavily on the “reimbursing for” than the “protecting against” where life for so many has become wrought with accidents, not only waiting to happen, but actually being created by the very system one invests in to protect them.
Take, for example that one in twenty five patients admitted to hospitals in the U.S. end up with an infection they did not have before going there. Medications so often produce side-effects for which numerous other medications are prescribed which often times ends up in undiagnosable problems or death. In fact, in 2009 there were more deaths from prescription medications than from car accidents, an alarming 37,485 people that year. A staggering $136 billion dollars is spent each year to treat adverse prescription drug reactions.
Is it strange that most health insurance will cover medication, hospital stays, surgery, emergency room visits and procedures, including prescription drug mishaps, but will not cover nutritious food, supplements, massage therapy or yoga classes and exercise? Though certainly individuals eating healthy, receiving regular massage to keep their body’s stress-free, practicing yoga and taking herbal and vitamin supplements would deter many if not all of the most common illnesses people face today. Perhaps the policies should be renamed as “sickness insurance” instead of health insurance, because that is what is being “backed up” or covered, sickness, not health. To truly insure the health of people anywhere is to provide and encourage acts and habits which encourage wellness, not just pay for practices that must occur after one’s health has failed them.
In China, hospitals and doctors are paid when a patient is made well, not if they are still sick and requiring further treatment. In the case of the need for continued care, it is thought that the doctor or medicines have failed them and in order to be deserving of pay, they must bring the patient back to health. In the United States this is ridiculously far from the truth. It seems that in America the health of a patient is the last thing considered when tallying up a bill or prescribing practices and medications for possible treatment. Doctors, who receive almost no training in food and natural medicines, seem to refuse to acknowledge that diet has anything to do with a person’s health or the state of their bodily condition. Instead, prescribing medication or suggesting operations seem to be acceptable acts of “health care” deemed respectable by most visiting their doctor for advice.
Though a body takes in food, day in and day out, the medical community is hard-pressed to find a correlation between food and health. Medical schools claim an “already full schedule” prevents them from adding nutrition classes to the curriculum even though it is recognized that such courses would greatly enhance their practice. Where, on the other hand, in the world of natural medicine, it is an obvious consequence if one eats poorly, the body will manifest conditions of ill health. Food is intricately related to the body’s vitality and health from the perspective of the naturopath or the natural human.
Health insurance, in a world that recognizes food as affecting health, literally grows on trees. If someone takes caution to eat foods which are easily digestible, free of chemical residues, artificial sweeteners, GMO’s, colors and preservatives and focuses a large part of their diet around fresh, whole foods, the chances of needing medical intervention of any kinds slims to almost none.
If every person in this country started to become more aware of the foods they put into their bodies and made a conscious effort to avoid pseudo-foods and foods laden with sugars, heavy saturated fats and preservatives, health insurance needs would all but disappear. They could be reserved for true emergencies where someone’s life was in danger. If all health care funds went into emergency funds and all people took great care of their bodies, health insurance would be a need of the past.
Nature is full of amazing substances in the form of foods and medicine, available to every person on the planet at a minimum cost, the price of eating right. If people did not wait until sickness arose to treat the body, the expensive and often invasive treatments used today would not be in such high demand. Health insurance really does grow on trees, but people must be trained how to take advantage of it so that it works. Education and implementation are but small prices to pay to retain health and vitality and avoid what modern medicine calls “health care.”
Image and Opinion by Stasia Bliss