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Diabetes cops are on the way

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One of the blessings of the new Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is that those with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes are no longer shut out of health insurance coverage. Now, according to an article yesterday, April 14/2014 (http://money.msn.com/businessnews/article.aspx?feed=AP&date=20140414&id=17521127) from MSN, some of us may start to wish things were not changing.

Considering diabetics with either Type 1 or Type 2 are frequently in great need of medical attention, having health coverage is going to make it possible for many Americans to live longer and enjoy better health. With this disease running rampant in our country today, the situation is critical. Diabetes carries the possibility of numerous and varied complications such as blindness from cataracts, optical nerve damage, glaucoma, as well as heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and even gangrene from poor circulation and reduced ability to heal. An alarming increase in the number of diabetics in the U.S. makes such coverage a literal matter of life or death for what may soon be a majority of people. Yet what diabetics have long wished for may turn into more of a nightmare than a dream come true.

The downside of the growing attention to what some are calling an epidemic is that the government, now that they are involved in the health industry, is going to call the shots on a lot of treatment, and they’re not talking about insulin injections. There are going to be “health cops” for diabetic management and they may come knocking on your door. Seriously, despite the wide array of methods available to deal with this disease, which is not always severe enough to require life-saving insulin, the feds are ready to take over what should be between a doctor and patient. While education is a good idea to alert people to the causes, treatment and possible preventive methods out there, starting in the early years, removing choices is not beneficial to anyone—except, of course, the pharmaceutical companies. Is there any chance of a deal being made here behind the scenes?

If a diabetic person is not using any commercial drugs being promoted by the government, and is on Social Security, disability, or any form of assistance, that does not mean the disease is not being monitored or controlled well yet that person could be accused of non-compliance with "official" treatment mandated. There are plenty of diabetics who have been diagnosed soon enough and are working diligently enough to keep their blood sugar levels under good control. Other forms of health maintenance such as annual eye exams, care of the feet, keeping LDL cholesterol levels low, can be easily taken care of if you start out with preventive measures in most cases. Being aware of what you put into your body, as well as what’s already there genetically (ie., if diabetes runs in your family) are also good ways of getting ahead of the disease. It is possible for many with Type 2 to maintain their good health for many years without use of drugs. Herbal medications, exercise, even acupuncture are other tools in the diabetic box that help keep people in good shape.

Why, then, is the insurance industry now pressuring consumers to do things their way only? You want insurance, you step to their tune, seems to be the new attitude since the implementation of the ACA. They claim the reasoning behind the workshops, the checking-up on people at home, whether wanted or not, is because diabetic coverage costs a lot. Well, no one seemed to give a rodent’s tail about diabetics before Obamacare! Now that they are forced by the federal government to make insurance available, however, they are going to crack the whip and make sure all diabetic Americans dance to their choice of music or else.

Suppose you have been doing well at keeping your sugar down to a level determined by you with your physician to be suitable by means of daily exercise, herbal formulas, and a proper diet personally tailored to you. Along comes your insurer, sending a nurse or someone to your door telling you to take this pill or that. Before you know it you’re having numerous other health complaints because the medication has a plethora of side effects. Many such drugs are a step from being pulled by the FDA for causing deaths in many cases. Wouldn’t it have been better to leave things as they were?

Some diabetics are “going underground”—dropping out of treatment for natural methods they feel are better for them. What will happen to them now, with the Diabetes Cops from insurers getting on their backs to take their prescription meds, no matter how expensive (and not totally covered), no matter how harmful, or else?

Health insurance for everyone is a worthy goal and is vital for us all. Indoctrination about types of care that leave no freedom to determine what is best for the individual, and forcing patients to abandon their own proven-worthy methods in favor of what pharmaceutical companies are pushing is wrong and can end up being dangerous.

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