Friday, August 31, 2007

Why health insurance is over rated

When I was in high school I had a lot of spare time. It is one of the many joys of being home schooled that you have more time than you know what to do with.
Of course, being the incredibly ambitious person that I am, I spent it wisely improving my understanding or honing new skills...or I chatted on the internet every night from 10:00-2:00, while watching Star Trek and M*A*S*H reruns.

But the internet is an interesting place, especially for a kid who has lived in the same area for most of her life, around the same type of people. Now I could talk to people from all kinds of backgrounds and beat dead horses all night long.
Back then I was really on top of social/political issues...I had the time. Nowadays I get my news from radio soundbites or slices.

One thing that fascinated me though, was that my new friends all seemed to agree that trends apply only happen in the entertainment or fashion world. I mentioned some trend that was happening with science and was promptly told that things like science or health or technology don't have trends. These things are based on facts and therefore cannot be subject to the whims of people.

For a while this confused me, but then I realized that I was right and they were naive. Its amazing how often that turns out to be the case. Anyhow, there are trends in everything, but health trends are more changeable than even the fashion industry. One month it's pomegranates and rock climbing, this month it's interval walking and well, I don't know, but it'll be expensive and probably imported and the health world will spend all month in controversy over the best use of it and whether it really works. Then Oprah will champion it on her tv show and it'll be all over the place with a little Oprah seal of approval stamped on it.

Health seems like something that should stay that same. If interval walking is fabulous this month why is it that next month weight training will be the only real way to get in shape? I understand with fashion, the designers are creative people and need to be creating new things all the time. But health? People in the health field aren't creative. Imagine if our doctor's were creative, "Oh I don't know, we could do the standard proceedure, but what if we threw in a labotomy just for fun? I haven't done labotomy in a long time. You know what would be fun to bring back? Leeches. Let's rock it old school." Very disturbing very quickly. This is why doctor's make so much money. We pay them to not be creative.

The real reason why these things keep changing is that they don't really work. They just keep switching them out so we don't have time to notice. Now, you're thinking to yourself, "Oh well, those people that write the health column in Reader's Digest or Prevention, sure they're not on top of things, but actual scientists and doctor's have their facts straight."

This is a cute thought along the same lines as telling children that some sadist fairy wants to collect their teeth, but similarly false. This is why they tell you to get a second and third opinion. They figure that if three of them guess the same thing they're probably right.

Or they can split the cost of the malpractice suit.


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