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No such thing as free or low cost health care

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No such thing as free or low cost health care

Postby Michael Jen on Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:53 pm

In today's modern society, people have a tendency to want and expect free or low cost health care. People do not want to pay out of their own pocket (or just very little) when it comes to their health as they would rather spend money on a new flat screen TV or the new iPhone. Unfortunately, the idea of spending little or no money to maintain your health does not truly exist in our modern society.

Some countries have universal health care that is covered by the government. However, it must be noted that the tax rates are extremely high in those countries since that is how the governments get their money to pay for their health care system. As a middle class family in the US, my income tax rate is about 30%. A student of mine who lives in Canada who would be considered middle class has an income tax rate of 60%. A student of mine who lives in England has sales tax that is practically double of what I pay here in my area.

Eating organic and non-genetically altered produce and meats is healthier than eating pesticide covered, hormone and antibiotic filled, genetically altered produce and meats. However, to purchase organic and non-genetically altered food here in the US often costs double or more than the "regular" food. I was at the store the other day and organic bananas cost $1.60 a pound while regular bananas only cost $.63 a pound.

Even when you look at the cost of "regular non-organic" produce and meats, it is cheaper to buy a hamburger to McDonalds. It is less expensive to buy the cheapest soda than to buy bottled water. Heck, bottled water is more expensive by the gallon than gasoline! In the US, is far cheaper to buy low quality junk food and snacks than it is to purchase healthy food.

As I have searched for shoes that are as close to barefoot as possible, I have come across great shoes like the VivoBarefoot and the Vibram 5 Fingers. Both these shoes are more expensive than a cheap pair of Nikes that you can find at any shoe store. The VivoBarefoot is a great shoe and it is much more expensive than the Nike Free (but is also much closer to barefoot).

No matter how you look at it, there's no such thing as health care that is free or low cost. It is unfortunate that is difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle without spending a bit more money.

It is amazing to see how people so often are willing to live with pain or increase their risk of disease all in the name of not wanting to spend money. Prior to finding MBF, I used chiropractic for many years for my pains. I saw so many people who had back pain, but were unwilling to do the chiropractic treatment unless their insurance paid for it. If their insurance did not pay for it, they weren't willing to pay out of their own pocket and would live with the pain. I never understood this mentality because I felt that pain decreased the quality of life and it was well worth spending a few hundred dollars to increase the quality of my life.

I have had some people say that not everyone can afford to spend the extra money for a "healthy" lifestyle. Not everyone can afford to spend the extra money to buy organic or pay for treatment that is not covered by their insurance. Well,I agree and disagree with that statement. I agree that there are some really really dirt poor people out there. There are some people who are so dirt poor they are just doing what they can to survive. However, every person whom I have spoken to who gave me that arguement did not fall in that category. I have heard the "I can't afford it" arguement from people who were teachers, software engineers, etc... These people were nowhere close to the bottom when it came to income and these were people who would rather spend money on material possessions.

Ultimately it comes down to priorities. People are willing to spend money on things they feel are important to them and are unwilling to spend money on things they do not. We live in a society where people are more willing to spend $500 on the new iPhone than the same amount of money to get themselves out of pain. Now I am not saying that person should frivilously spend money, put yourself in a financially difficult situation, or spend money you don't have in the name of good health. However, I am saying that in order to obtain or maintain optimal health, one cannot expect that can be achieved without a financial investment either directly or indirectly.

One last thought to leave you all with....Personally, I really made my health a priority years ago (before I found MBF) when I injured my neck so bad that I could not stand or sit up for 7 days. I was in so much pain that I had to lay down 24 hours a day for a week. It was so painful to get up to go to the bathroom or eat. Doctors gave me drugs to ease the pain, but it didn't help at all. As a layed in bed in pain and frustrated, I thought to myself that I could be as rich as Bill Gates at that moment, but all the money in the world didn't matter because the only thing I could do was lay in bed. Laying in bed all day was no way to live life and I vowed to myself that I would do everything in my power to avoid that type of situation again.
Michael Jen

Licensed MBF Practitioner
Michael Jen
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