Last week I showed you my medical records – now I’m going to give you my take on the Healthcare Bill & Accountability! 

I never had health insurance — shocking, isn’t it!!  I grew up and raised two wonderful sons without any health insurance.  Part of it was my natural disinclination for paperwork, part of with my years of being self-employed but the main reason was I never understood why I should pay someone – that is – bet against myself — on my health.

Because I wasn’t saddled with medical paperwork, I could negotiate with the doctors for treatments I needed and usually got the price down 40% BECAUSE they didn’t want to use insurance anyway – it meant they got paid in six months instead of right now. 

My family believed in Adelle Davis – for those younger readers – she wrote “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit” and “Let’s Cook It Right”, “Let’s Get Well”, and “Let’s Have Healthy Children”. These books came out in the 50s and my mom was an immediately convert.  In fact, if you find these tattered old paperbacks in a used book store – you’ll see they were ahead of their time, in worrying about aluminum pans contributing to Alzheimer’s, endorsing fresh fruit and veggies for Vitamin C., and taking on the food industry which mightily contributes to disease in this country. 

I was never sick.  One bout of Scarlet fever that left my sister, Linda, deaf in one ear, but other than having two children – I was never sick.  The one year I did have health insurance was a total loss – paid about $3000 for N*O*T*H*I*N*G.  

Mind you, I’m in favor of national healthcare, delivered simply and effectively.  I am NOT in favor of fifteen xrays for a sprained ankle, seventeen mammograms that find nothing and basically – what I call the over-zealous use of medical technology.

Hey – news flash – healthcare is a BUSINESS!! Healthcare providers want to MAKE MONEY. The more procedures they perform – the more money they make.  It’s a very simple system.

So if it’s true that you have to incentivize people to stay healthy – maybe that’s the way to teach personal accountability for your own health!   I am amazed at how many of my friends, who are smart, and well-educated – turn their healthcare over to any doctor and do not question anything the doc says.  They don’t ask about the procedures or the tests, and they always assume that the doc knows best.

Nothing wrong with doctors – I love them.  But it’s YOUR BODY – learn how to take care of it!  Watching all the news about obese children, increase in diabetes, and declining health of the baby boomers (me included – I’m a baby boomer, but still healthy), it’s clear to me that what is missing is the connection between how someone lives every day – and how healthy they are.   So how do you encourage a healthy lifestyle?  That’s the $64,000 question.

My ingredients are simple:

Being outdoors
Taking extra vitamins and herbs
Getting moderate exercise
Eating less animal products
Low fat dairy
Don’t eat refined foods
Having pets
Doing work you love
Stress relieving activities – yoga and meditation work for me.

And… the big secret – being happy every day. 

So I am all for encouraging accountability and changing the insurance picture in this country.    This could mean – sliding scale of insurance costs based on how healthy you are.. like a Good Driver Discount for Staying Healthy! 

Having employer-sponsored plans also weighed and have unhealthy workers penalized.(I know that’s tough love – but they will thank you years later).

And adjusting pricing of health services so that preventive things  — like getting your blood pressure checked, become less expensive than expensive procedures like MRIs and CAT scans. 

Getting back to my original point – if you are totally RESPONSIBLE for your own healthcare – you make the extra effort to stay healthy. It’s a personal choice we all make every day.