Someone asked me yesterday if I've started looking at the health care exchanges. Umm ... not yet! It will take some time to work out the first chaotic round of change, of course. Hilarious, isn't it, that the very people who did everything they could to block the law are now outraged because the roll out is a mess? To me, this is funny. Maybe I'm supposed to be outraged, too. I'm not at all surprised. Are you? How else could it be? Even Apple has to deal with bugs when it rolls out a new ios. This link is to a story from last month about how Apple maps sent drivers onto an airport runway. It's a disaster - and we're talking about Apple. Would anyone really believe the government could do this perfectly? For heaven's sake.
When things settle down a bit, I'll be looking for disaster coverage, you know - in case I have a stroke or something. I'll also want coverage for dental, vision, acupuncture, therapeutic massage and psychotherapy.
Yeah. Are you shaking your head slowly back and forth? Are you thinking I live in a dream world? I know, and yes, I am. However, insurance for health care should cover my health care - right? - which includes the above.
Once upon a time, health insurance was fairly comprehensive in some environments. Back in the 1980s when I worked for the San Francisco Symphony, the insurance covered a pair of glasses every year, dental check-ups and a hefty portion of dentistry. It covered my psychotherapy for five years! I co-paid $15 per session, every week. That therapy saved my life. It was crucial health care. I can't imagine what would have happened had I not had access to psychotherapy.
Even the Symphony insurance did not cover acupuncture, but it did pay for osteopathic treatment and homeopathy. I was allowed to choose my own doctors. It was great insurance. Those were the good old days.
What's wrong with our approach to health care runs so much deeper than the dollars and cents. Yes, we're gouged whether we pay insurance companies or our practitioners. This link is to an article about hospital charges, how ridiculous they are and how what is charged varies widely from place to place.
The system is falling to pieces. I suppose it has to. I'm hopeful that what will rise from the ashes is a much more balanced, sensible approach to good health. We're headed in that direction already. But we have a long ways to go, we surely do. In the meantime, I plan to continue my practice of aggressive self care which includes Chinese medicine - ancient and venerable, ultra modern medicine - elegant and groovy, therapeutic massage on a regular schedule, psychotherapy when I need it. A part of aggressive self care is getting out for a walk every day, allowing myself enough time to sleep, high quality food, spending time with people I love, and creative expression. You see? I'm aggressive in this arena.
And - I am so lucky to be healthy! So very very lucky. I count my blessings every day.
My advice? Back slowly away from the health care exchanges until they work out the worst of the bugs. Your liver will thank you, your heart muscle will thank you, your adrenal glands will be forever grateful. Perhaps your clenched jaw will be able to relax a bit. They'll figure it out. It will all work out, give it some time.