How to protest "American Unhealth"?
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Today I shall rant. Two reasons:
Anthem BCBS increased our monthly insurance payment by 50% for 2010. Merry friggin Christmas.
The National Dairy Council is working a campaign called "Raise your hand for chocolate milk"
First, the insurance rant. Okay we all know that the rising cost of healthcare is big news. It's controversial, it's expensive, and no one agrees on anything it seems. One side says "public health = socialism which is anti-American" and the other side says "other democratic countries do well with public health options." But both sides agree that health care is too expensive and we need to do something.
I just opened the "policy update" from Anthem and nearly had a heart attack when I read that our $370 monthly premium is going up to $515. Just like that. Rising cost of health care they say. In the past when we have done our insurance homework this company was our best option - we get to keep our Doctor and the closest Doctor is not an hour away (as with Kaiser, the runner up.) Our doctor is an Osteopath, so he is able to MEDICALLY do corrections to our backs and hips and other things that active people (and those who desk a lot) need help with. He's nice, we know him and he knows us... And the price was the most affordable.
However this price increase from Anthem is ridiculous. GRANTED we have both been sick on and off for the last two years... cold after cold. I have a tummy issue that required a endoscopy to make sure it wasn't an ulcer (thankfully it's not, just a bizarre reaction similar to a condition I found out my brother has.) I sprained both wrists and both ankles in one year! To be sure we've been using our insurance... but it's not like one of us suddenly has a horrible disease or anything.
So my contemplation of options comes to this:
- Evaluate our current policy and choose something more affordable
- Start a medical savings plan at the bank or somewhere
- Make an appointment with a naturopath in January to find out what we can do to improve our immune systems
- Stick to the fitness plan I have already devised (I'd rather pay an extra $100 a month to the rec center than the stupid insurance company)
- Start making appointments every month or so with our new massage therapist
As for the National Dairy Council, this is just an example of the "power" of these "advocacy groups." First a disclaimer - I agree with many natural health experts that cow's milk is not meant to be consumed in high amounts by humans. We are the only animals on the planet that regularly consume the milk of other creatures (for one), and second we are the only animals on the planet that consume milk of any kind after being weaned. While I think dairy can be healthy, the whole "eat plenty of cheese and milk" campaign is a bunch of hooey. Yogurt makes sense - it has calcium, vitamins, AND probiotics that are good for many other reasons. Otherwise I certainly don't try to add dairy to my diet.
Anyway, get this: "the [Raise Your Hand for Chocolate Milk] promotion aims to educate parents and educators about the harmful effects of "removing low-fat chocolate milk from the lunch line" and calls on "moms to help keep chocolate milk in schools," according to the campaign's mission statement." HARMFUL EFFECTS!?!?! Like what, less congestion?? "Judy Barbe, a registered dietitian and senior director of nutrition affairs for the Western Dairy Association, told the newspaper. "Kids who drink flavored milk take more milk and drink more of the milk they take. I think chocolate milk is like a secret weapon for better nutrition.""
AH-HA!!!! These folks are mad that chocolate milk is being taken out of schools because kids (a large demographic for them) consume more of their products if they are full of sugar!!! Now what is wrong with this? Oh nothing except it has NOTHING to do with health, welfare, or nutrition. It has to do with MONEY. And while I am all about businesses doing everything they can to make money, skewing the parenting community's opinion that "milk is good for your kids" simply because they want the kids to drink over-sweetened products because the kids will ask their parents to BUY the over-sweetened products is just plain wrong. Same with the sugared and over salted food industry in general. Processed Food Inc at it's lowest.
Well I feel better now that I have vented. Thanks for the listen. I will now refill my cup of herbal tea that helps reduce stress and smile at the idea of giving the insurance industry a what for once we return from the holidays. And giving my body a big "Atta girl, lets show 'em"!! As for the chocolate milk thing? I'll continue to enjoy my SOY MILK with a little vanilla or almond extract and honey, agave, or raw sugar thank you.