By Jake Hayutin
Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, these are our options in the ACA. Ironically, this language unwittingly bespeaks the central problem of our healthcare crisis – the conflation of health, health care, and health insurance.
Our consumer-capitalistic-Keynesian-QE culture is all about making and spending money. Hence, the hierarchy of precious metals used to define our policy options – save catastrophic (likely because iron lacks luster).
Following suit, most overhaul plans of the last two decades have focused on regulating insurance companies or healthcare providers, when the answer to the crisis lies in no institution, but in health itself.
Many libertarians and conservatives argue the problem with our health insurance crisis is the misallocation of costs/prices; an argument popularized with a viral article in the Atlantic by David Goldhill. I agree. Though this pricing problem may have exacerbated the crisis, it is the focus on money as the only means to improve health that, as Roger Waters proclaimed, is the root of all evil today.
Self-proclaimed politically agnostic, but economically libertarian genius (look him up), Nassim Taleb suggests in his book Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, a panacea for the iatrogenic affects of our healthcare system – via negativa. It’s not what we should be doing more, but what we should be doing less.
Let us start improving our health one individual at a time, by removing things from our lives as opposed to adding policies, institutions and taxes. Eat less, sit less, drink less, smoke less – although, I do have one caveat, do yoga.
This will require standing-up to consumer culture in a Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club kind of way. A phantasmagorical grass-roots approach juxtaposed to the central leadership of Kathleen Sibelius.
I recently had a premonition of an addendum policy for the healthcare.gov website – the Green option. This policy would provide the catastrophic insurance with an added incentive for young people like me who are healthy and more willing to accept the penalty tax than pay for coverage we don’t need. The Green policy would allow states to provide health insurance subsidies for anyone who clocks, let’s say, 5 hours a week at a state-accredited Yoga studio. Increase the balance of payments by encouraging the young and healthy to sing up in the short-term and encourage life-long healthy life-style practices that will pay dividends – personal and economic.
The Green policy is built on the principle of preventative care and the health intelligent culture that fills each and every yoga studio. Unlike triathlon clubs or pick up ball games at local parks, Yoga removes potential physical harms, while improving flexibility and muscular and cardiovascular strength. Moreover, there are zero physical or age limitations. Anyone can practice.
Already, several non-profit institutions have begun work on implementing yoga in our culture. Bikrim Sonoma (though facing legal battles) has attempted to bring yoga into elementary P.E. classes. James Fox of the Prison Yoga Project has even found success in rehabilitating felons, both physically and mentally via the power of yoga.
So, tell all the statist politicians to take the Obamacare bill they passed without reading and shove it you know where. I, for one am going to complain every time anyone in D.C. tries to invent a new excuse to tax me, and continue to take individual responsibility for my health at the Yoga Body Shop in Johnson City.