As the debate over affordable health insurance continues to rage, leave it to Mark Sisson to bring a different perspective on what health insurance really should be.
There's no doubt that health care costs continue to rise in this country as do the rates of obesity and all of the related conditions, e.g. heart disease and diabetes. As Sisson writes:
"The estimated annual treatment cost of a person who’s been diagnosed with diabetes is $10,970. (Some estimates put that cost at $13,700 – 2.3 times higher than those who don’t have the condition.) Those who have it but haven’t been diagnosed tend to rack up an estimated average bill of $4,030. Even if insurance pays for a good hunk of this expense, you’re looking at a thousand or few thousand dollars out of pocket. I personally can think of more fun ways to use that money."
But, as Sisson argues, the programs we have come to term "health" insurance are, in fact, financial insurance for when those health crises arise. While recognizing the necessity of having this type of insurance, he argues that we all need to be investing in "real health insurance" by (guess what?) eating whole foods, exercising, sleeping better and managing stress.
When put into this perspective, buying fresh meats and vegetables, paying for your gym membership, buying a new mattress and blackout curtains and splurging on that relaxing vacation all of sudden seem like very cheap ways to truly insure your health. Compared to nearly $11,000 per year if you are diagnosed with diabetes, they are downright bargains.
All you need to do is change your view and, as Sisson suggests "...see the consistent maintenance of good health as our primary safeguard against the burden of significant medical outlay? Talk about a different level of accountability…
It begs the question, 'What did you do to protect your health today?'”