Imagine a World with Plenty of Healthcare…

Imagine a World with Plenty of Healthcare…

Plenty Healthcare 140123 7-001I rang in the New Year with severe food poisoning followed by an ass-kicking upper respiratory infection, which gave me time to think about my word for the year: Plenty.

Though I’m rarely sick, I have gained a whole new appreciation for health. As I was navigating my options for care, I found myself caught between two worlds: allopathic medicine, which my insurance covers after a hefty deductible, and alternative medicine which I much prefer, yet have to pay for out of pocket.

It got me thinking… How often do we make medical choices — whether for tests, exams or treatment — using money as a top deciding factor.

How much sooner would I seek attention having plenty of healthcare, plenty of the care I prefer such as acupuncture, massage, and naturopathy?

Plenty wouldn’t mean I’m getting massages three times a week. Plenty of health care for me means I’d go when I get that first nudge from my body “Something’s off-kilter. Support requested!” without having to consider “Can I afford this right now?” or putting it off until my body is yelling at me.

Plenty of healthcare means I could focus on prevention and maintenance. That my care providers have the time with me that they need to really know me— an ample amount of time rather than a prescribed 5-10 minute window to greet-diagnose-prescribe.

Of course, plenty of healthcare also means having access to the best allopathic resources and people available should I need them. I just finished watching The Big C on Showtime, one of the “perks” of being home sick for two weeks — I found myself asking, trying to imagine, “How would I handle a cancer diagnosis?”

 

Plenty Healthcare 140123 5-001What if I didn’t have plenty of money to choose the type of treatment I wanted? What if my financial situation meant that I had to scrutinize every recommended lab, exam, or scan against my bank account balance? At the same time, I might become a much better patient and consumer by asking questions — “What is that test for?” “How much will it cost?” “What information will it give us and how would that change the course of treatment?” Plenty of healthcare means an open dialogue and collaboration between my practitioner and me.

Plenty is about having more choice. In fact, plenty is empowering. I have plenty of resources rather than I have “enough” resources. (click to tweet)

In my world of plenty I don’t see myself sitting on piles of gold or spending my days managing my enormous stock portfolio. Rather, it’s closer to what happened last week when a dear acupuncturist friend stopped by to give me a treatment in my living room. That felt like plenty. It was support, nurturance, and community all at once. I felt rich and loved.

Plenty Healthcare 140123 6-001While I may not always be able to have generous friends show up to tend to me, it helps me to focus on what matters.

 

A friend bringing chicken noodle soup is plenty. My partner standing over me as I throw up again, and lovingly caring for me as I recover— is plenty. My dog curled up, warm and comforting, not leaving my side for days on end… is plenty.

What is plenty for you? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Luna Jaffe is a Certified Financial Planner, visual artist, author and professional speaker. She holds a Master's Degree in depth psychology and is the founder and CEO of Lunaria Financial based in (yet not limited to) Portland, Oregon.

9 Comments

  1. firekat7 5 years ago

    Plenty is a wonderful substitute word for enough. I am really enjoying the shift it creates.

    For my current medical needs, plenty means plenty of rest with no worries about the money. I have several chronic health conditions that cause fatigue and/or the need to be in a quiet, cool, dark room. Due to my many decades of paying into FICA, I now have plenty of time and resources with which to rest and get the medical treatments I need. Plenty of taxes have given me this support.

    • Luna 5 years ago

      Oh, yes to plenty of rest without worry about money. Funny that paying plenty of taxes now allows you to have plenty of time and resources! An example of the system actually working. Yeah! Thanks for commenting here!

  2. Jabarwok 5 years ago

    Yes, PLENTY !
    Having just got off the phone with CoverOregon. I hear you Luna. I got on CoverOregon 5 minutes before the deadline for January after spending hours on the phone and submitting an ap. in Nov. After more than a month my written ap. still hadn’t been processed. My insurance guy said only 7 out of his 125 applicants had made it through. I only made it by being resourceful on the internet and finding a personal email for someone at CoverOregon.

    Now I was just dealing with trying to correct my name on the plan and trying to correct the plan i had chosen. Of course they switched me to a plan with a higher deductible and out of pocket cost.
    I would love to have alternative care covered but the plans were twice as much. I’m hoping that eventually “ObamaCare” will go to single payer and we can all have access to the healthcare we want and NEED but I’m not holding my breath. We’re starting to get some healthcare coops that include alt. medicine, maybe that’s the answer.
    Luna, hope you’re feeling better.

    • Luna 5 years ago

      It’s really sad that such a great idea, in concept, has been so poorly executed by both the federal and state governments. And culturally we are still so upside down about what kind of care really works to keep us healthy vs. add dollars to companies that want to sell their drugs and devices. I remember someone saying what we have in America is Disease Insurance, not Health Insurance. Although alternative and preventive medicine is gaining acceptance, we are sadly still far away from putting these forms of care front and center both from a funding and a treatment perspective.

      And, yes, I’m feeling better, thanks to my kick-ass naturopath, Dr. Lori Stargrove. Knocked the socks off that nasty virus!

  3. brynne 5 years ago

    Your recent entry is very readable. I find the Obamacare experience neither about health care nor about being affordable. It’s about big business not having to pay out as much and squeezing the common people even more. The end is seen in the beginning: Obama spent $500,000.00 on a Canadian company to build a simple, secure web site for Americans. It utterly failed, and Obama’s apologies mean nothing to me. Governor-Agency Director Sebelius also failed utterly as the “leader” of this pathetic adventure. Her apologies are unacceptable as well as she would have known it was going to fail both as a piece of technology and as a program for people to get better insurance. For people to be forced into deductibles of $6,000 or so makes real care impossible. Young people are avoiding the whole thing as long as possible before the sheriff’s possees start rounding them up. If enough of us refuse the “system” it will fail a third time. Maybe then our lawmakers will realize we refuse such packages unless they too have to participate…As you already know, Congressional Members and federal employees have their insurance socialized…all paid for by taxpayers, but they won’t give our families the same care.

    • Luna 5 years ago

      Brynne–It’s broken, and while there is no excuse, I’m inclined to focus on what I can do, personally, to create my own world of plentiful health and healthcare. This is why I focus on bartering and supporting the phenomenal alternative practitioners here in Portland.

      Thanks for joining the conversation!

  4. Erulisse 5 years ago

    To me,”plenty” of healthcare means having a primary provider I can develop a working relationship with. Someone I can get to know and develop trust with over time.

    I have had very bad experiences with doctors in the past and although I now have my own real insurance for the first time and need care, I have put off seeking it because I don’t know how to find a provider I can get along with.

  5. Luna 5 years ago

    Oh, I get that! I also haven’t been able to find a “primary” care doc that stays put, and talks to me for more than 5 minutes, which is why I rely on acupuncture and naturopathy– but it’s such a quandary. Certainly it doesn’t seem like too much to ask that our healthcare providers know us and are trustworthy!

    I hope you find such a person!

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