If you ever need a drug or test that costs more than the norm, you know who controls healthcare in America. Long before 'Obamacare', insurance companies called the shots in healthcare.

Need an MRI for a back injury?

Insurance won't approve it until you do six weeks of expensive, painful, time-consuming physical therapy. At $100 a session, I have my doubts that physical therapy will help what x-rays suggest is a bone spur on the L4. The same happened to my husband when he was finally diagnosed with a synovial cyst encapsulating the nerves in his lower back. Surgery removed the cyst and solved the pain instantly!

Using prescriptions to combat medical issues?

Insurance companies even restrict the medicine they will cover. As a diabetic, this is a big issue when they required me to change my insulin to Novolog from the Apidra I had been using. After a year of Novolog unsuccessfully stabilizing my blood sugar, Blue Cross Blue Shield agreed to giving me Apidra!

I had the same problem when a generic came out for Cymbalta. I take Cymbalta for pain and depression connected to Fibromyalgia. I had tried the generic, but found the pain and depression returning. Suddenly, with no warning, they refused to cover the name brand Cymbalta. My doctor's office staff did all they could to protest the decision. In the end, I lost.

So I take the generic, but I know I would feel much better on the name brand.

Ditto all of the above for my blood pressure medicine; up and demanded I take Losartin. Wait, who's the doctor here?

Can you live without health insurance?

The answer is no. That's the point of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and individual state's health provisions.

You need insurance to save your lifeas well asassure good quality of life. No one can truly afford to pay hospital bills or surgical expenses.

Tennesseean.com reports that UnitedHealthCare, one of the options under the insurance marketplace, "is finding --just as other insurance companies are-- [Tennesseans] the people buying insurance on the federally run exchange are sicker and need more care than projected."Since these people have no insurance, they have no ability to care for their health requirements leading to chronic and terminal illness.

But once they have insurance, they may find themselves jumping through the same hoops of bureaucracy as everyone else.

And if you think that you will get the best service from medical professionals, be aware that decreasing payments to doctors makes it necessary to cram more patients into their day. Will the wealthy end up paying extra for Concierge servicein order to get better attention?

Should insurance companies take the place of doctors who have trained to diagnose and treat medical issues? NO! Give the power to treat back to the doctors. If the doctor has a track record of unreliability, remove them from approved physicians.

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