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Health Insurance's Golden Handcuffs

Over the years, I have noticed a correlation between chronic ill health in this country and the belief that your insurance, the government, or someone else besides you is responsible for your health care choices. Culturally, we need a huge shift in consciousness around this issue, especially now as we face increasing restrictions regarding our health care and our bodily autonomy. This is because when a patient says that they can’t take a supplement or get a massage because their insurance won’t pay for it, it most invariably leads to these people having poorer health than the ones who said things like “I don’t care what it takes; I’ll find a way to get what I need.” So, please think about what it means when you tell yourself that you can’t do something for your health because of the rules and regulations that a bunch of politicians and insurance executives have come up with. To whom are you giving your power?

I personally don’t expect my health insurance to cover much of anything related to my health—and I have good insurance. My health care consists, first and foremost, of knowing that my health comes from deep within and that my thoughts and emotions are hands down the most powerful forces for flourishing that are available to me. I pay out of pocket for massage, vitamins and minerals, and Pilates and yoga classes. My “primary care provider” is my acupuncturist! I also keep a journal, have a solid social support network, read a lot of books, and keep learning new things. I know that I can attract the resources I need when I need them (some of which have indeed been in mainstream hospitals). When you are truly ready to assume responsibility for your health, you will find the resources you need.

I figure that my health insurance is designed to take care of a major medical emergency such as a car accident. That’s it! In my view, we should abolish the term “health insurance” and call it what it ought to be called, which is “crisis insurance” or “disease insurance.” The business of creating health and staying healthy is your responsibility, and because none of us is perfect at this, we need a backup in case of catastrophic illness or an accident. That’s what our “disease-care insurance” should be for.

Dr. Christiane Northrup

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