Health Care

I talked to my “health coach” a couple of weeks ago. This is required periodically by my health insurance carrier, and my employer. I think the company and their intent is a joke, but sadly I’m obligated to participate. The first question they always ask is whether or not I’m taking cholesterol or diabetes medication. I swear this company is bank rolled by big pharmaceutical. Before we hung up, they asked me if I needed any help with anything, and I requested to talk to a nutritionist. I want to make sure my efforts to go vegetarian include a proper diet. They said someone would call me back. After waiting a week, I called them back to say I hadn’t heard from anyone.

Finally a woman calls me this week and introduces herself as a dietician. I told her I had asked for a nutritionist, and she said they were the same thing. I told her I knew they weren’t, but whatever. Her first recommendation was that I look at choosemyplate.gov for proper nutrition information. I knew the conversation was over at that point. Her advice for me was to use the diet that has made half the country obese and diabetic. No thanks.

After pressing her a bit, she finally told me she was not allowed to give out diet information. Not allowed? What kind of health partner is this? I now want to ask my employer exactly how much they are paying for this company. I could just send an email once a month for free and let everyone know I’m not taking cholesterol medication.

After talking to her, I decided to call my insurance carrier and ask if a nutritionist was covered. The person on the phone asked me if I had diabetes. Again with the diabetes! I said no, that I was trying to be healthy and avoid the diseases that run in my family. He told me the visit would only be covered if I had diabetes. I asked him if I started drinking 20 sodas a day and gave myself diabetes, would the visit be covered. He paused for a minute, and then said “well, yes.”

The “health care” that so many politicians want to talk about is non-existent in this country. Rather than teach and assist people to be healthy, we seem to only be able to push prescription drugs down people’s throats after they are sick and diseased. As in most things, you just have to take care of it yourself: do the research and trust your instincts that you are making the right decisions. Maybe I should go back to school to become a nutritionist.

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