THAILAND….COSTA RICA….MEXICAN RIVIERA…? Beachcombing used to be the main event in exotic vacation destinations like these, but today, you’re as apt to be looking for a new kidney or heart as beautiful seashells or sun and rum-drenched sunsets. As affordable medical care becomes more and more out of reach for middle-class Americans, many have opted to seek for relief elsewhere.
Wealthy people used to come here for the best medical treatments, but these days, the tide has reversed, and we are looking everywhere else for relief from rising medical costs. According to a recent article in the New Yorker, a hip-replacement surgery costs approximately fifteen thousand dollars, while here in the good ole U.S. of A., it can run you ninety thousand or more! That’s 6 times as high!
At first, I thought this was a great idea. Maybe if American insurance companies had to compete for business, they’d reign in costs. But what I discovered was that they’re the first ones to jump on the band wagon. They are offering these services under the umbrella of their own companies.
I don’t think it’s doctors or even hospitals who are profiting from the high costs of medical care here in the U.S., but the insurance companies. Until we have a public option in our national health care plans, Blue Cross and the others will continue to keep costs high and our ability to care for ourselves, low.
So…my recommendation is to bypass the system. Use what you have, but increasingly, we alone are in charge of our health. We need to educate ourselves and our children how to care for our physical, mental and emotional well being. That alone would cut the need to go to the doctor in half. That and a little herbal knowledge would devastate the pharmaceutical companies. Oh, darn….
Last, but not least, if we simply refused to have our lives painfully and expensively prolonged by multiple end-of-life surgeries and 40-pills a day regimines, we’d keep insurance companies from profiting from what would have been our dignified, natural life spans and deaths.
There is a place for western, modern medicine; but it should only be one tool in our healthy living tool kit. The insurance companies only have as much power as we give them.