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Healthcare of the DIY Kind

Daisies

Daisies

Healthcare truly is a Do It Yourself (DIY) commodity these days and a great many people do not understand this.   It is truly not being taught in our schools.  It is one of those home inspired lessons that are not being taught at home.   Lots of folks are hanging on to their jobs which have health insurance benefits and lots of folks believe the emergency room is how you see the doctor.

Healthcare in the USA is a big business with lots of profits.  The Insurance Industry decides what illnesses you can have and what illnesses they do not acknowledge.   They decide who can administer their healthcare benefits and who may not.

Most families, who think of themselves as middle class are just one illness away from financial ruin. There is no middle class any more, there are those who are descending into upper levels of lower class and those who are upper middle class and believe if they play it safe they will make it thru or that they have found the magic in the system.   Only 10% of the folks have all the wealth and security that brings.

Healthcare was the subject of 26 articles and blog posts I read this past week.  All but 3 of the articles were fear mongering about how the new healthcare plan is already not working and how folks are being denied care – so vote for someone else, who is their suggested candidate.

Going to Fact Check and I discovered that most of this information in these articles is based on 2004 information, statistics and twisted suggestions and outcomes.   This is just political ranting and raving casting out to the ignorant- the sound bite driven populace.  So what’s NEW?

I have been denied healthcare coverage for the past 20 years for the malady which I contend with and am working on healing.   I do not fit into any of the categories or numbered definitions available.

Our health insurance company changed the rules in 2010 and failed to notify their customers.  They tell us an information booklet is coming out by the end of the year; now pay us more money.

And just wait until you turn 60.  Those 6 years before you receive Medicare are quite the doozy!  Don’t tell me you were not forewarned.  And there is a lot of cage rattling about Medicare; please take note.

Healthcare in the USA is about taking care of yourself and learning all you can.  One needs to keep learning all the time about how to eat healthfully, how to maintain the body, and when something goes wrong have some concept or idea of what your body is trying to tell you.  Those 15 to 20 minutes of time with the Doctor may get you stuck in the wrong code or treatment plan, not to mention paying for a large number of tests.

I budgeted $20,000 for our healthcare needs for 2010.  It is the 8th month and we have already used all of those funds. Those dollars are just for premiums, co-pays and deductibles.  We eat very healthily and exercise well – and we never stop learning and researching.

The real reason healthcare is on my mind is because we are having an election, our state primary is next week.   I am working on my knowledge base, questioning and teaching what I know, but I do not have something to advocate for – to promote, except Healthcare DIY.

One voice plus one voice plus one voice = This can change the world.

How do you do your healthcare?   If you live in a country that provides healthcare, how do you advocate for yourself and keep yourself healthy?   Are there voices in your area advocating new definitions of health and health care?   Do you pay your taxes and your insurance premiums?  How should we pay for the poor, and the middle class?

Looking forward to your great comments:

24 Responses to “Healthcare of the DIY Kind”

  1. Mark Says:

    You ask some tough questions for a Monday morning. I agree with you that health care is very much a self serve affair. We must educate ourselves and learn the ins and outs of each of our systems. Is there any one system that works? Most of my adult life I did not have to worry about health care because I worked for the US government and my health care was 100% covered, from sniffles to surgery I was covered. The system, while at times abused worked very well. I was afforded the best care in the world and by some of the best medical staff in the world who were not constrained by the litigious society that most doctors and medical providers live in. They system worked and it worked very well. The model does exist, however the traditional medical community fears this model for it does not make doctors and hospital administrators rich. If we were able to take the money out of the health care question we could have a system that works and works well.

  2. Patricia Says:

    Mark,
    I think you are absolutely correct that we have a system that could work very well without all the money problems – and then Drs could actually do their jobs…which I think most of them would like to do. I also think self -education is a very valuable tool, but I look at how folks vote and prepare for that life skill and I think too many want the easy scheme of things.

  3. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    The American health care system sucks, but as I told you before, other systems have major flaws as well. However, I guess basic coverage for all, even if flawed (long waits for surgery, for example) is better than rich-only coverage.
    .-= vered | blogger for hire´s last blog ..My Reasons for Going Gray =-.

  4. Patricia Says:

    vered,
    I think basic coverage is a right not a privilege for just the wealthy. I think there are always trade offs in any system and we had to wait and wait for our baby to get surgery and then drive miles and miles unless we paid full price here with our good surgeons…. we were even offered reduced rates if we would fly to St. Lewis and all those bills for 6 weeks stays…

    Trade offs and compromise or even better yet – everyone working together to compassionately take care of each other…I think a truly great health care system is going to come about from the grassroots and folks with imaginations like those that started Google and Facebook etc.

    It is rather exciting to think about

  5. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. I guess I’m lucky here in the UK – we have basic coverage for many things & we’ve been lucky to have my mother funded .. having had strokes and being bedridden – whereas other elderly with alzheimers or dementia get nothing & are left in the community to be cared for by aging partner or family.

    My uncle paid for health insurance and it served him well – both for his wife and for himself in the end .. as a mental insurance I guess ..

    I’m healthy -so I have to say I don’t worry .. I do pay for my teeth – but that’s because National Health dentists are tricky to come by & terms of reference are a bit iffy .. my teeth cost occasionally – but probably as much as insurance over the years.

    I know the American system sounds pretty difficult & unfair ..

    All the best … with thoughts Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Painted Ladies of the World who stop trains A year later! =-.

  6. Patricia Says:

    Hilary,
    I do not think any system is the “best”, but we could take the attitude that we pool our knowledge and resources and find something better for more of human kind.

    Most of the research on Cleft Palates and Down’s Syndrome is being done in countries with health care systems as in England, France and Canada….these things don’t pay and are not glamorous so they are not funded and folks are not interested except as individuals here…

    Compassionate care would dictate that we all work together…

  7. Barbara Swafford Says:

    Interesting post, Patricia,

    Being self employed we pay our own premiums. Unfortunately, as we age, they go up. One way around that is to buy a catastrophic plan with a deductible so high a person could go broke if they did get sick. however, it’s a scary thought NOT to have insurance.

    I agree. We need to be our own best advocate. I highly believe in alternative medicine as well as being aware of what we eat and getting exercise. Although self diagnosis could send us down the wrong path, I feel I’ve done fairly well when I’ve used alternative medicine for minor illnesses.

    I read somewhere how doctors are now “prescribing” more tests since they want to cover their butts and avoid lawsuits. And on the other hand, it appears many patients are finding clout in saying “I just had an MRI or CAT scan or…” and treating it like a status symbol. My hope is I never have to make those claims, live a full life and pass away peacefully in my sleep.
    .-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..Size Matters With Comments Too =-.

  8. Tony Single Says:

    Patricia, this is excellent, and you’ve made some very good points here. Healthcare is such a critical issue right now, even in Australia.

    I believe in universal healthcare, much like the public system that we have in Australia now (that’s constantly being undermined by each successive government, it seems). I believe our tax dollars should be going toward vital areas such as this, along with utilities and education. It’s simple, Mr. Government, supply us with the basics, and we, the humble grumbling citizens will take care of the rest (like personal luxuries and whatnot) because we won’t be out of pocket!

    However, I am also for being aggressive about your own health as well. Eat well, get a minimum of exercise, don’t smoke, don’t drink too much, and don’t do drugs kids! Help the system to be able to sustain us all by looking after yourself in the first place!

    Yes, I really appreciate your post today. :)

  9. Katie Gates Says:

    Hi Patricia,

    I dropped by to thank you for the comment you left on my guest post at silverandgrace. I’m so delighted to know that my “Hormones from Hell” piece had you snorting! Ah well, I wish I could experience that snorting-from-laughter when I think about health care, but that ain’t gonna happen. Hell, snorting-from-laughter is probably a pre-existing condition, not that I even try to get coverage any more. The system — as is true of so many “systems” in this country — is run by the wealthy few. And their advertising firm of Fear, Fear, Fear, & Fear (they’re the partners, mind you) continue to capture the minds and the ignorance of the reading public. The mental health I enjoy by virtue of knowing these truths does wonders for my physical health. If I bought into the fear, I would suffer from stress, and that would lead to further complications…

    I look forward to visiting you again, and for more snorts (you know, the good LOL kind), drop by my blog, where I post something fresh every Wednesday.

    Cheers!
    Katie
    .-= Katie Gates´s last blog ..Sneak-Peek Saturdays- Excerpt Seven =-.

  10. Talon Says:

    I seriously cannot imagine having to budget $20,000 for health care costs – there are some people who don’t even earn that in an annual salary.

    I’m Canadian and we have government run health care – and the premiums (taken in tax dollars) vary from province to province as do the coverages. But no one has to set aside thousands of dollars to have access to health care. And while each new election (provincially and nationally) has new politician’s pushing for reforms, I can still access health care without dipping into my wallet (as the wallet dip occurred at pay check time). I think the thing that is not addressed much is preventative medicine. Maybe if monies were spent teaching people good health practices, the systems wouldn’t be so bogged down with people needing help for problems that could have been helped with better diet, exercise, etc.

    In theory, we should be the healthiest generations of people…but sadly we are not. It’s crazy.
    .-= Talon´s last blog ..The sunset hour =-.

  11. Davina Says:

    Patricia,
    Anything about the health care system confuses me. I’ve heard horror stories and yet I appreciate the health care that I’ve been given when I have needed it. I currently have very basic health coverage as I’m self-employed. When I was very young I was in and out of the hospital numerous times a year with asthma and twice with pneumonia. Many trips to the doctor for weekly allergy shots. I don’t think I fully appreciated at that time, how much support my mother received to take care of me.
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..I’m Not Blogging You Are =-.

  12. Arts web show Says:

    healthcare is so important and should always be offered for free
    .-= Arts web show´s last blog ..Collaboration with Monarc7 =-.

  13. suzen Says:

    Hi Patricia! Correctamundo! DIY health care is truly the best and most affordable way to care for ourselves. I think the problem there is, people don’t want to eat healthy things until they get sick – there is no preventative care that they are interested in! People only complain and rush to a doctor when symptoms appear – never realizing that symptoms don’t JUST appear – they have been in the works a l-o-n-g time due to poor choices they’ve been making for a l-o-n-g time.

    Kudos to you for doing whatever you can. I’m ready to help anyone who is sincerely wanting to “go healthy”!
    hugs
    suZen

  14. Patricia Says:

    Barbara,
    I think your are right about DIY diagnosis and Doctors ordering tests to cover themselves in case of lawsuits…and the pride factor too!
    I learned so many ways to just be responsible for my own hearth by being so ill as a child and young adult….I think health is truly a lesson in responsibility that people are not understanding or doing anything about – even around the globe…..I just heard an interview from the floods in Pakistan by the BBC and there people are saying w had no warning, why did our government not even warn us…..but the 8 million people involved were advised that there housing and planning were inadequate for a Monsoon of this nature and the local governments failed to do the right things…

    We need protection from ourselves…

    And yes to avoid and grow old and just fall asleep….I think that takes good effort on each persons part.

  15. Patricia Says:

    Tony,
    Thank you for your words of appreciation – I think it is truly a Global issue and wish the UN was better at these sorts of things – the top of the line issue is how do we educate our local population in how to take care of themselves and not be so persuaded by TV ads and movie stars behavior….that is a local issue…

    There is a city someplace in South America that feeds everyone – so there is no hunger in that city…the Mayor said, we needed to do something…so they decided that making sure everyone was fed 2 times a day was the best solution….I thought that was kind of exciting…
    Now how to teach people to be responsible for themselves and then others – Overwhelming Yes! Crucial YES!
    Worth it – priceless

  16. Patricia Says:

    Katie,
    Welcome to my blog – wow I really laughed at your post at Silver and Grace until I nearly choked and I did snort! Thank you – I think a laugh a day is the best part of health…

    And yes will come on over and see what you are posting on Wednesdays….You can count on me…

    Now back to working of the fear folks and figuring out how to educate

    I appreciate your good insights and it boosts my endeavors

  17. Patricia Says:

    Talon,
    The scary part is now children as young as 8 to 10 are getting all the diseases that our parents started experiencing at 45….

    We are self employed and must pay all our expenses and premiums, and even though I had a prescription for 12 massages the ins. folks decided midway through that they would not cover them – even though I was getting tremendous relief but because they do no cover Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome….now if I had diabetes they would cover them….WHAT????

    So I had to pay out ahead…and our premiums are taken out at paycheck time too! and we pay for all the Walmart employees medical with our taxes…they same way we pay for schools….

    It is very scary indeed.

    I need to get a paying job as soon as possible

  18. Patricia Says:

    Davina,
    Yes, we went through Asthma and allergy shots with our children, it took a great deal of effort and education….We also paid off $261,000.00 in surgery and medical for our youngest child….I think health care should be a basic right and that education about health and how to be responsible should be a basic education program…

    I think it is a Global problem that needs to be addressed locally

  19. Patricia Says:

    Arts Web Show
    I totally agree with you – a basic right

  20. Patricia Says:

    suzen,
    Years ago I got a alternative grant to go into middle schools and teach a kind of nutrition/health program…..I found all the materials were provided by Mac Donald’s Where as when I was growing up they were provide by the meat and dairy industries…

    I think Jamie Oliver was very brave to go into the fattest community in the USA and attempt to make change….now how can I carry those changes into my own neighborhood and community…that is the issue I am grappling with….especially since so many of my tax dollars are going to pay for the health care of the Military and the Wal mart employees and their families….
    My question is how can my wisdom make a difference right here…with my two feet?

  21. Meredith Says:

    Dear Patricia, I do not have health insurance, and the last time I did it was truly pointless and a waste of money as it did not cover anything remotely related to my pre-existing condition. When I was diagnosed in my mid-20s, I had just left my now ex-husband and not yet been at my new job in a new city for 6 months in order to get insurance coverage — and ever afterward, I have paid and paid for treatment.

    In the last five years, I have really taken control of my own health and, as you say, learned to treat myself, mostly through presence and Nature and an awareness of the fragility and beauty and transient nature of all life. This sounds strange, I know. For me, my awakening actually spurred a surge of health in all areas of my life, including my body.

    I think it is barbaric for any country to hold its citizens hostage over their healthcare needs. Having lived in countries who practice so-called “socialized medicine” I have experienced the difference and would always choose the better course, of taking care of everyone, of valuing every single person and treating them accordingly. But alas, in this country we cannot seem to see the forest for the trees …
    .-= Meredith´s last blog ..tilt focus- week 31 =-.

  22. Patricia Says:

    Meredith,
    I think you are very brave to be without Health INS. – what will you do with the new mandatory requirements? Lots and lots of folks in my area are opting out of health ins. and just doing DIY care…most are much healthier – it is still pay and pay and pay with or without the ins.

    I still think basic health care is a right and they we need to educate folks about how to be healthy….in a society that wants one ill so that a few can make lots of money…

    I think the government needs to get back to basics of health and safety and tackle the big things well and leave the other aspects of life to the locals.

    Thank you for sharing your story….I value your words and experience

  23. Jannie Funster Says:

    “Most families, who think of themselves as middle class are just one illness away from financial ruin.” That truly can and does happen, scary thought.

    We have no health ins, but if some big catastrophe should arise we would just have to take it as it came.

    xo

  24. Patricia Says:

    Jannie,
    Will you not have health ins. when you move back to Canada?

    Isn’t it interesting all the folks who we discover do not have health ins.

    I do not know how long we can keep ours….we have such a huge investment in this plan and were hoping it would be our supplemental plan to medicare at age 66….

    I am writing about a different health care system on Thursday…other than broken arms – I think you have this kind of health care already up and running for you :)