Rami's Blog

Like the Yin-Yang, Eastern Martial Arts and Western medicine are two halves of a whole. My mission is to preserve the ancient mind-body tools, and pass them on to you.

 

"Obamacare" and Preventative Care

The Affordable Care Act (which I have written about before) is one of the main forces driving health care in new directions today. Every law in the Act is going to have an effect on how we define health services in the future.

For example, now that insurance providers must cover "recommended preventative care services," the government has had to define what these services include. So far, the list is made up of vaccines, screenings for cancers, screenings for depression, various health issues related to pregnancy, and more.

These are all great services, which certainly save peoples' lives on a daily basis. But they prevent illness about as much as a canary in a coal mine prevents carbon monoxide leaks.

These services will let you know if you are already sick, even if you are asymptomatic. That is very helpful for tackling the disease early, but it never prevents the disease entirely.

Cancer screenings don't prevent cancer, they prevent cancers you already have from going undetected. See the difference?

In my opinion, that isn't preventative care. And it isn't just the Affordable Care Act that defines preventative care this way. Most people still see check-ups and health screenings as preventative care, while viewing exercise and mindfulness as "auxiliary." This simply isn't true.

By the time a screening reveals that you have cancer, it is too late for prevention. Doing exercise and mind-body practices like Tai Chi? Now THAT is preventative care.