Mr. President, I've Got a Bone to Pick with You!

Jar of Coins Labeled Health Insurance on White

Dear Mr. President,

My accountant informed me that I am being fined 1% of my income because I did NOT purchase health insurance.

FYI – I have intentionally NOT purchased health insurance in almost two decades.

Not because I believe it cannot help people. It can.

It just that the insurance plan you are enforcing is not the one that, I believe, can benefit me or the millions of other people like me.

I believe our current health care system has been corrupted and I don’t buy into it. You can read more about that here: Health Care, I Don’t Buy It!

Instead of spending money in a broken system, I spend my hard-earned bucks on things I believe are truly contributing to my health… and they are NOT covered by your plan or any other plan out there.

Let’s take a quick look at what I purchase to insure my health:

So I ask you, Mr. President, is your administration infringing on my civil rights; my right to choose how to spend my money for my own health and well-being; my right to express how I feel about the current health-care system by NOT buying into it?

I have lived healthfully outside the health care system you are promoting for the past 20 years because I believe it’s seriously flawed. With doctors and medical schools taking payoffs from pharmaceutical companies to push their drugs, how on earth can I trust a system like that?[1]

That system is also designed to detect disease and prescribe the newest medication for it, without getting to the root cause of the condition.

That is not health care. It’s disease care. Let’s call it what it is.

You want me to purchase “disease-care” insurance.

Do you want to know what true health insurance looks like?

Take a walk with me and let’s have a conversation about educating people about taking full responsibility for their health.

We’ll have this talk while strolling through Central Park, getting some fresh air, sunshine and exercise.

Then we’ll sit down and enjoy a nourishing meal that was lovingly prepared with the best quality locally and naturally grown ingredients (without chemicals and pesticides).

Maybe… I’ll even give you a little neck and back massage to help you release some tension. I know you have a lot on your plate, and a very high stress job.

But, as far as purchasing your insurance plan, I’m going to pass.

Until you incorporate the self-care and natural healing modalities that I use on a daily basis to truly insure my health, I’ll respectfully contribute my 1% tax fine to your cause, and I’ll continue paying for my own health-care. Thank you.

PS – I was very happy to hear that your wife is growing an organic garden at the White House. Tell her to keep up the great work!

Wishing you vibrant health,

Andrea Beaman




  • Nat

    Ohhhh!! Masterpiece!!!

  • Deb

    Yay sister! Amen to healthcare, not disease-care!

  • Aimee

    Amen!!!! 🙂

  • sean

    I understand your point about health care, but what happens in a case of accident?
    (Car accident, hit by car crossing street in nyc, mugging, etc.) Curious?

    • Kai

      Car insurance covers your medical bills in the event of a car accident, not health insurance.

      • Margaret Bortko FNP, DNP candi

        My car insurance is mandatory…and will not cover other emergencies. I, too, prescribe to holistic care, In fact I attended Bastyr Naturopathic College. Please check out Unnatural Causes, Wealth vs Health on you tube. We are all in this together.ACA is the beginning of managing corporate greed. One can get a very economical plan with a high deductible for catastrophic care on the ACA website.
        Be careful with your smugness, holistic people can also get very ill, contagious, too. I work with many tools in my tool bag.

        • Kris

          Car insurance does not cover all of your bills if you were in a car accident. I am dealing with this right now. Someone ran a red light and hit me. I did not have health insurance and now owe more than $20K for medical treatment because my car insurance money ran out. I am suing the girls car insurance but it’s been over two and a half years and they are trying to say that I am fine. So though Imageee wi Andrea on this, I wish I had health insurance at the time of my accident.

      • Ellen

        Most plans only provide 10,000 in medical coverage. If there is another party to blame for the accident, their liability may come into play, but if it were your fault your’re not looking at much coverage. If you were in the hospital for more than a couple days it would easilly exceed that 10,000.

    • Doro Reeves

      Good point, Sean! However I still agree with Andrea. For-profit health care is not to be trusted. Government-sanctioned extortion is what we’re dealing with now. Compared with other developed countries, we’re paying much more for a whole lot less. Like Andrea says, it’s more about disease management than health because healthy people aren’t as profitable to these quacks. – Doro Reeves

    • jillieann

      Your right Sean. Insurance of all types cover the what ifs. You can choose to spend massive amounts of money to prevent what ifs if you want, but there is a large group of us that don’t worry about what ifs and we spend a sufficient amount of money in preventing those what ifs. I personally was rear ended and suffered a concussion. I never took one tylenol or any other pharmaceutical. Partly, because my bones were healthy and resisted as much injury and secondly because I chose food herbs, chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture for my issues. Our family has life insurance and auto insurance and rental insurance. Mostly because those areas do not allow to much prevention. You are relying on others to make good decisions in how they drive and whether or not they should rob you blind. So we conscienciously carry those coverages. But, I could list you a bundle of others that people try to sell us. Every time you buy something these days, they offer you “what if” coverage. What if my cell phone breaks, get’s wet or is lost or stolen. I will buy a used one or find one around the house until my contract expires. I don’t need to pay $10 a month or $120 a year times 4 people, just in case something happens to our phones. In the last two years, I’ve already saved $960. You see, we all should be calculating our risks and logically deciding what risks to cover and what risks to prevent. But, asking what if, like you did above, just says that you have bought into the fear mongering and broken system that is in place. What if you get in a car accident or some other type of accident? What will you do? I will do what I always do and use alternative medicine. Of course there are very serious things that can happen to you. You can either spend thousands of dollars on insurance, that by the way, you will have to sue to get any money out of. That is right. I had to sue to get everything paid for in my accident. I pay $2000 a year for insurance and then have to fight them to make them pay fairly. Otherwise, they will try to trick you into admitting that your injury was slight and signing forms to end payments for a small amount. Or you can take care of yourself and prepare your body and have your injuries be as minimal as possible. If you are eating fast food, drinking sodas and living on the SAD american diet, then your bones are at much greater risk of breaking and having major issues. It is your choice and mine, but they are trying to take that away from us.

  • Colleen

    Bravo. I have a serious bone to pick too! Health insurance almost killed me years ago…Not only that but on the measly wages I bring home these days it will break me. Sean that would be called accident insurance but health insurance is listening to your own body and giving it the care/fuel/spirit food it needs. When even good doctors, not our legal pill pushing drug pushers of today, don’t listen they are dangerous!

  • knapkea

    I think this is really short-sighted. We have to start somewhere, and I would guess that Obama would be with you on your premise here (as am I), but we live in a political reality where things take time. This was a GIANT step in the right direction of systemic change, and the law includes many, many preventive care measures that were not covered before and for many of the marginalized among us who have not had access to basic care and health services and education because they just aren’t free. Additionally, the focus on cost transparency will naturally drive an increased focus on preventive, holistic care because healthy people are less burden on the system! Yay economics! We can’t abandon the system in order to change it… we have to change the system that we have, and I applaud him and the hard work of so many who are standing up and fighting for more holistic, preventive care measures against powerful special interests and actually making some incremental changes, like getting this bill passed.

  • suzi

    Dear Andrea, Amazing Andrea,
    You are right on all counts! The thing is, it’s time for you to pay for the people who dont have the means or knowledge to take proper care of their own personal health and now need disease care. Thanks for the offer regarding the walk and the meal, and especially the neck rub!! I am so busy playing golf and basketball, just kidding… enjoy your great health my dear. Signed you know who. PS there are so many who if given the opportunity would sign your letter in support of your opinion. ME ME ME!!!! I WOULD!! great letter Andrea. you are 100% right on girl. <3

    • @suzi – You’re a cutie! The first person to send a letter back as if you were the Prez himself. Gave me a good giggle. Thank you!

  • I could not have said it any better! I applaud you, Andrea! Who is really going to pay for this is my 20something children–and they know it! I think they should charge more for the people who continue to eat their way to the grave. The people who take responsibility for themselves, and the younger generation, should not have to pay for those that continue to eat junk. Period. It’s supposed to be “health insurance”, not “health care.” People think they can eat whatever they want to and someone will pay for their mis-care of themselves. There is nothing in this bill that will reimburse me for the holistic care I use for my family. I, and my children, have not used a doctor in years — and I’ll be 60 in 2 weeks. We do everything possible to stay out of the doctor’s office. The things that doctors put us through, before we learned there was a different way, was absolutely horrible. If I would have listened to them, my middle son would probably be on disability. Instead, he’s 100% great!

    • @disqus_dyEhBV2KkN:disqus – your kids are blessed to have you looking out for their health and well being and teaching them how to care for themselves. Happy birthday (in two weeks!).

  • Decipher

    The Supreme Court has likened the Individual Mandate in ACA to a type of new tax. Where have you been? This was discussed 2 or 3 yrs ago!

    • Shazie

      She hasn’t realized it yet because the tax penalty is kicking in now for the first time. lol

    • If your comment was to me, yes, we’ve known for a long time about that. We knew it was going to be a new tax way before the Supreme Court decided it. The financial mess will be left to our children, though–and I’m not just talking about Obamacare. My children and I have talked about it since Obama first talked about a national heathcare plan. We have especially watched what is happening this past year after my mother had to be admitted to a nursing home. Not everyone has a wonderful mother “to write home about.” I’ve watched mine eat herself right into the grave. We have all watched as the government paid for all the hospital visits, surgeries (including an amputation), specialists, etc. etc., not to mention the $10,000 a month that the government subsidized to the nursing home — and this is just one person. She is a big reason I became a health coach. There are days, though, that I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall trying to teach people how to be healthier. But, I don’t intend to give up. And, I keep hoping, as the mess unfolds, that maybe it will just be trashed. I can only dream!

  • marge201

    What if you fall and break a hip or shoulder?

    • Shazie

      She’s wealthy enough to be able to pay out of pocket for it all unlike the rest of us, but she doesn’t care about that.

    • Zoe

      Drum circle should help with that.

  • Simone

    I believe that we should have a choice as to if we want to engage in the healthcare system that Obama has out into place. I don’t believe we should all be forced or penalized for it if we choose not to. This is not so much a matter of stepping on our systems healthcare system, albeit it is VERY MUCH FLAWED, but it is more about civil liberties. We are losing ground each time we let government chip away at our constitutional and civil rights.

  • mrslovin

    Very dissapointed in you Andrea. I have really enjoyed your show Fed Up, and now your newsletters and your recent book. There may be a time someone truly needs health insurance. I know from experience how valuable health insurance can be even for a visit to my favorite chiropractor. For many years the only way to get affordable health ins. for my family was through my husbands work (factory worker). Which BTW 4 factories he has worked at has either left the state (2) or gone to Mexico and China. So there went our ins. I am grateful now we can buy a policy we can afford that does give coverage comparable to what we had at the factory. I understand your health ins.policy is in holistic med. but please don’t vent it’s really a turn off. Sincerely mrslovin

    • vbg/hh

      Andrea is simply stating she should not be penalized for not buying into insurance. Tranquila

      • Csilla Bischoff


    • Shazie

      I don’t think she’s saying she’s anti-universal health insurance, but that the health insurance coverage we’re being forced to buy should at least include treatments that fall outside of the realm of traditional Western medicine–treatments, which in her experience, are much more likely to be yield a healthier society.

      • @Shazie & @mrslovin – Shazie is correct. I’m not anti-universal health insurance, I’m “anti” being forced to purchase a plan that does NOT include the healing modalities I currently use for health care.

        • mrslovin

          Sounded like a rant to me.

          • Doro Reeves

            Too bad.

      • Doro Reeves


    • Doro Reeves

      Employment-based healthcare is bullshit and whether you realize it or not, you’ve just supported my assertion. I think Andrea is spot-on and I applaud her for rejecting government-sanctioned health extortion. This system is much more about making a profit than keeping people healthy. Ever notice how fat and sick the American population has become? The food industry, Big Pharma and the insurance pirates are keeping us sick so they can feed off us like parasites. And let’s not forget how much $$$$ these insurance hack CEOs are raking in at our expense!! These pirates are living off us like parasites, making a fortune on sickness and death. If that’s not worthy of a rant, I don’t know what is. I find Andrea’s point of view refreshingly sane and applaud her for the courage and independence it takes to choose the path that’s right for her.

    • Bsrbara

      I, as many other American’s agree with Andrea and feel that more of us should actually speak up against being “forced” to purchase health care or be threatened with repercussions such as additional taxes. I have a family member who had a perfectly acceptable health care plan that suited her family until Obamacare took over and she felt forced to enroll in a plan that was not even remotely comparable to what she previously had. Mind you, her rate went from $338 per month to over $800, how is that affordable for a family of 4 on a salary of less than $35,000 (this is gross income mind you) per year? I stand with Andrea and appreciate the fact that she as well as you and I can voice our opinion, which is a freedom that is fast dwindling in our country!

  • sue

    I agree with many of the others on here. While your form of healthcare is ideal, if you were to fall on the side of the road and break your leg, you would be very grateful to have paid a small percent to cover health insuranse. ESPECIALLY if you are lower income and cannot afford the out of pocket expense. also, even if you could afford to pay for your healthcare out of pocket, we should all be helping each other to afford to get treated for issues that western medicine can help. we all get taxed to help pay for everything from war to foodstamps. why not health insurance. I completely agree that often, western medicine is not ideal, especially when it comes to overprescribing pharmaceuticals rather than getting to the root of the problem. but the REAL issue is working on making health care more integrative, rather than doctors who get paid off by pharmaceutical companies. You have made this issue black and white when really it is quite complex. It would be ideal if our health insurance also included a list of alternative therapies that we could also get covered. baby steps. but that is the issue we should be fighting for. not telling off obama for cr eating a world where basic health insurance for emergencies is affordable for those that cant afford it. and guess what, the only way to make it affordable to those who can’t afford it is if healthy and succesful people like you also chip in. then, next step is to work on bringing more alternative therapies into the list of what is covered. i am a HUUUGE advocate of natural medicine, but even I am grateful that we are all paying a small amount so that the majority of us don’t get completely screwed over if a leg is broken or a kidney infection occurs, etc…

    • Doro Reeves

      This healthcare issue really isn’t so complex as these healthscare profiteers would like us to think, Sue. When there’s incentive to rip people off, one of the oldest tactics is to confound them with bullshit. What we really need is a simple, streamlined, cradle-to-grave system of Medicare For All. The Affordable Care Act is better than nothing but falls way short of what is desperately needed. The sooner these insurance hacks are put out of business, the better! This system is abusive and cruel, and hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens have died because of it, sacrificed at the alter of Big Money. Nothing complicated about that! Healthcare for profit is a crime against humanity. If Andrea wants to reject the insurance racket and chooses to opt for another approach to health maintenance, that should be her prerogative.

  • Natalie

    Hi Andrea, I totally agree. I haven’t been to a Dr. in 10 years and spend my money on the things you do! I was a teacher for 9 years and never went to the Dr. once and pissed that they do not have ‘roll over minutes’ for insurance. Now, I’ve had my own biz for 4 years and have happily not had insurance. I love the idea of everyone being insured, but not like this!

  • Maybe I’m older than most of you (60 next week), but I remember that growing up in the 50’s we didn’t have health insurance. We didn’t even need a doctor’s appt. to go to the doctor. We just went in and waited our turn. And, the doctor was a family doctor who was much more holistic. Somehow, my parents managed to pay for the doctor and hospital bills. The problem is the medical association and pharmaceutical companies. Health insurance has become health care, when in reality we should be caring for ourselves. The government has put us in this mess, because now so many people have “entitlement” mindsets. Years ago, when anyone had problems, the church or community pitched in. I have no problem helping people, but that should be my choice. You only have to look at the other countries that have national healthcare to see how bad it can get. Many in Canada come across the border to go to our hospitals. I have a problem with someone who is sitting there eating a Big Mac, fries and soda, complaining about their health, and I’m supposed to pay their medical bills. The whole system has caused no one to have responsibility for themselves. I agree with Andrea. The ACA will not cover anything holistic that I do. I’m a single mom and we do without a LOT just so that we can eat healthy and pay (out-of-pocket) for the care this act won’t pay for–but that’s MY choice. I’m not asking anyone else to pay for me. All I would maybe want is catastrophic insurance with a high deductible, for those things that I can’t fix myself.

    • @disqus_dyEhBV2KkN:disqus – I like the way you’re thinking. That’s interesting about families not having health insurance in the 50’s. I didn’t know that. It puts things in perspective. Thank you for sharing. And, keep up the GREAT work!

    • Doro Reeves

      Audrey, I think that as health coaches we should not be so judgmental towards those who eat junk. I used to suffer from a horrible eating disorder that ruined so much of my life as a young adult. I consider it a miracle not only that I survived it but that at my age (and I’m 63 now), I don’t weigh 500 pounds. I once knew a woman who wound up over 400 pounds, whose disordered eating habits were no worse than mine once were. (I’m at my perfect weight now and eat healthfully most of the time, but am still haunted with occasional episodes of regressive emotional eating.) Disordered eating is an ADDICTION, just like drug addiction or sex addiction. It is a sickness, and should be treated with compassion. What’s more, it’s been scientifically established that combinations of salt, sugar & fat are EXTREMELY addictive and habit-forming. Our culture encourages dysfunctional eating, yet people are marginalized for getting fat. How crazy is that?!

      • Doro, I’m not talking about the people who have eating disorders. I fully understand that as a health coach. Actually, I watched my mother eat herself right into the grave almost 2 months ago. You would think after 6-bypass surgery 7 yrs ago (her heart was the size of a basketball) that she would change. Within 3 mths she was right back eating the same things to the point of (we found out) that she would rent a cab to out shopping, because she didn’t like being told what she should and shouldn’t buy. It finally landed her in a nursing home a yr ago on so many meds I lost count of them all, to losing her leg 2 weeks before her congestive heart disease caused her death. She wouldn’t listen to me, nor anyone else. There are tons of people out there fully knowing what they are doing. Those are the people I’m talking about. I knew this well before becoming a health coach, but a big portion of the population does not want to be healthy. They say they do, but they do not want to change. I had to realize that a long time ago. I had to realize that for my health to just let them go. I would constantly be wondering what could I say to make them change, wondering if they knew what they were doing to themselves. It was really starting to bring me down. I finally had to realize not everyone WANTS to be healthy. If you ever watched “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” then you understand those remarks, because he had people tell him they were going to eat whatever they wanted as long as they were living, even if it caused their death. I remember one father saying exactly that right in front of his son. It’s always haunted me that someone could be so selfish. This man wasn’t overweight, but we all know you don’t have to be overweight to be unhealthy. My mother was a little overweight, but it wasn’t extreme. But, her actions were very selfish. It wreaked havoc on the family running around taking care of her. It almost put her younger sister in the hospital from the stress. And, yes, I have explained many times the whole “bliss point” thing that the food companies create for us to be addicted to their foods. You have no idea how I, and my children, have fought to turn our health around–but we did it and are now 100% good. What I find most of the time is that people have to get to the point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Usually it’s the ones who value life. Thank goodness Joshua had the vision to create a “sea” of us to go out and spread the word!

  • Brooks Palmer

    It’s too bad that health insurance doesn’t cover the holistic treatments. Probably about 100 years from now. I didn’t have insurance for decades myself. I took good care of myself and ate well all during that time. Then I had a strong sense to get health insurance. Shortly after that I got really sick and had to get a lung transplant to stay alive. It’s been over nine months since my operation and I feel great. I’m thankful I got insurance or otherwise I wouldn’t be here, or if I was I’d be in great debt.

    • @Brooks Palmer – that’s great! I’m happy to hear you listened to your “senses.” And, you got that health insurance when you needed it.

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  • Chelsea

    Great rant, Andrea! I agree with you 100%!

  • Tonylle

    Why would i want to buy something from the people who sell/enforce it at the same time calling me stupid for buying it. Reference: Jonathan Gruber admitted on the MIT forum that the American people are stupid to buy into this health-care plan that was designed intentionally to confuse or mis lead the public by using torturous wording.

  • Ravi K

    While I truly agree with you on most of the write-up (as an aspiring Naturopath myself) as far as healthcare goes and what we do as disease care in the USA. No argument there. The ACA has many issues, I have to agree as well, but I think trivializing the mandate to appear that all those who skip insurance are doing what you suggest is incorrect. The plan provides many options for individuals who are healthy and provide plans ONLY for catastrophic situations, or you can even get the penalty waived if you have valid reasons (perhaps your accountant should have filed the letter above as reasons for not having insurance 🙂 ). In every country where there is a healthcare mandate everyone has to have some sort of insurance for the system to work. I agree that the best possible scenario is where the insurances pay for what you do, holistic health, and who knows maybe someday that may be reality. Until then even us holistic folks need to understand that there maybe situations where we will need help for some catastrophic scenario which may not be addressed by holistic means and buy some sort of insurance to cover for that. Don’t forget most holistic heath is geared towards prevention but that still does not prevent you from getting hit by a car or a UFO ;-). Peace

    • @magboy1:disqus you are correct! The penalty can be waived. I looked into the “penalty waived” area on the health-care plan and it doesn’t include someone in my scenario. I’ll keep my eyes out for those UFO’s and purchase some catastrophe insurance.

      • Ravi K

        :-). Perhaps what the holistic population should do is to petition the govt to waive the penalty for people who actually take the time and effort to stay healthy and prevent disease. For example a letter from a holistic practitioner should be sufficient. The ACA helps too many people who otherwise will not have any insurance.

  • Beth Cone Kramer

    Health insurance is paying down today so if something catastrophic happens, you may be covered. Essentially, you’re hedging your bets. Since ACA, as a freelance writer, I’ve had to lower my coverage so it only covers four visits a year @ $60 and no prescriptions, which I don’t take anyways, till I hit $5,000. I pay out close to $4,000. The only good thing is it covers preventative care. We are in some ways held hostage in this system. Sure, there are certain aspects like no existing conditions limitations but do you know there are many policies sold through employers that do not cover maternity benefits or childbirth? Birth control? Forcing people to buy coverage from insurance companies isn’t heath care reform. It’s just a shell game for to appease insurance companies and pharma.

  • knapkea

    Andrea – I read so much of your stuff, and I think so highly of you, which is why I get so frustrated when I read this. I rarely take time to comment, but I think it’s important to highlight the flaws in your position in this post. You are approaching this on the assumption that these practitioners do not have the OPTION to be part of the healthcare system, when in fact, they do! THEY choose not to accept insurance, so your premise here is flawed. It’s not that the health insurance options don’t cover it, it’s that the practitioners don’t want health insurance to cover it. While the reasons for this are likely highly individualized, I could guess that some of them might include higher paper and filing burdens and potential suppression of prices they can charge consumers. If more practitioners who practice and encourage more holistic forms of wellness and health allowed for insurance payments, more people at a variety of income levels would be able to access such care. Instead, it’s still confined to those within higher income brackets who can afford out-of-pocket payments. Granted, my comments here are limited to doctors and many employer health insurance programs do not yet reimburse for yoga classes, massage, and herbalists, but there’s some movement in the right direction in this space. All this to say, practitioners have responsibility here too.

  • Laura

    Thanks Andrea great piece! I totally agree. One note. Michelle is no longer growing an ORGANIC garden. She got tons of negative feedback fro Dow, Monsanto etc and had to just grow a garden NOT organic.

    • @Laura – I know. So silly! The corporations OWN the government.

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  • Almouna Saddiyeh

    Thank you for this article, it’s about time that the outdated greedy system changes to benefit all the payers!