MedSmarts

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Beyond Obamacare

Look Beyond Obamacare
for Lasting Solutions

Health Insurance Does Not Insure Health

Health Insurance Does Not Insure Health (Photo credit: SavaTheAggie)

With all the political and media attention on Obamacare – especially in this final month for compliance to avoid federal tax penalties – it’s important you don’t confuse health insurance with healthcare or healthcare with health.

Just as health insurance can help or impede your access to healthcare, your healthcare can help or impede your actual health.

Most of the people dying needlessly from medical errors – estimated at up to 440,000 Americans every year, or roughly SEVEN TIMES the number dying from prostate cancer and breast cancer combined – had health insurance.

They also had healthcare – that’s why they died.

So getting health insurance – whether for the first time or not – isn’t something to do once and forget about. Because instead of being a ticket to better healthcare, as it’s often portrayed, it could just be a ticket to an early death if you’re in the wrong hands.

In short, it’s not enough to just be covered for your healthcare costs – not if those costs are for treatments that harm rather than help you.

It isn’t any wiser to be casual about your healthcare than it is your health insurance requirements under Obamacare.

Both require a commitment to learning to avoid becoming either a financial victim of poor or no health insurance or a physical victim of shoddy healthcare that’s more prevalent in American healthcare than most people realize.

Having the best health insurance in the world won’t be much comfort if you become one of those sorry medical error statistics.

Better Self-Care Is the Solution

Better self-care is the ultimate solution to this problem.

This requires committing to a new and healthier lifestyle to reduce your dependence on a bloated and self-serving healthcare system that’s undermining the financial security of American families and businesses alike.

It also requires learning to spot when you’re being taken advantage of by medical profiteering that threatens the physical and financial security of you and your family.

This means becoming more discerning in your medical decisions – more skeptical and aware of who benefits financially from your choices.

Is your doctor looking for something specific with the imaging exam or other test or procedure being recommended to you, or is this just a “fishing expedition” to justify more intensive interventions that aren’t essential – and may even prove dangerous?

You should know this before consenting to it.

More conservative usage of our fragmented, fraudulent, and dangerous medical system is what common sense and financial necessity dictate – now more than ever, as Obamacare will stretch existing healthcare resources and increase your risk for medical errors and neglect by doing so.

And, finally, all of this requires that you take on the role of an informed medical consumer and primary decision-maker for you and your family’s healthcare needs – that you take charge of your increasingly burdensome healthcare expense, while you still can.

No politician – of any persuasion – can do it for you.

In the meantime, if you’re still not insured, this article from MedCity News has some excellent detail on what you’ll have to pay for penalties – and it may be more than you’ve been led to believe – and what benefits you may be entitled to under Obamacare, including some that are retroactive for those who previously tried to enroll on an Obamacare exchange and failed.

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