Thursday, September 24, 2009

Individual Responsibility in Health Care Reform

I’m more than a little disappointed in President Obama’s progress to date. While he’s busy assuring everyone in the United Nations that there is a new sheriff in town…which I don’t imagine caught anyone off guard.....the time for looking backwards is over…period…end of story.

But what I really wanted to talk about is health care. Having spent 17 days in Dublin in 2004 in a 6- bed ward after life saving surgery…I suppose I could compare and contrast what amounted to 45 days in skilled medical care facilities (St. Vincents/CAMC/Cleveland Clinic) and discuss the pros and cons of the 2 systems….but I have something else rolling around.

Individual Responsibility

As in not smoking….as in controlling your weight…as in taking your medications….as in pushing back from the computer screen and saying hello to the great outdoors.

The point in this mini rant is I had the mistaken impression that Barrack Obama would lead the masses to the figurative moon aka JFK. Does anyone recall the President’s Council on Fitness….and the 50 and 400 yard dash/run? I recall it was like 2 years before I could squeeze out one chin up and I finally got to 4 at age lets’ say 9.

We need a different health care system. I’m a believer. And I can subscribe to a certain amount of blind faith…..but I can only do so if the leadership of health care reform starts talking about this being a partnership and not an entitlement.

Am I out in left field? Feel free to comment.


Kim Broughton said...

Hey Dave,
My daughter has been an insulin dependent diabetic since the age of 6. I do believe she is entitled to the insulin that keeps her alive. To date between my health insurance and the insurance she earns through her employer she has never been without coverage but I do worry about it. I don't think we should have to. Also, since I am a veteran I am "entitled" to a certain amount of free health care. I defused bombs, neutralized nerve agents and dealt with being targeted by terrorist of the IRA while serving in England. I appreciate having this benefit as a result. I chose to serve. I have always felt everyone should serve in the military. Now there is a thought and a way to earn health care :)

gratefuled said...

Couldn't agree more with your comments about healthcare. I've had some form of health care since graduating college through my employers 23 years ago. I'm one of the rare people who have paid and (knock on wood) have never used the system for anything with the exception of one exam and blood check to see if I was a match with my brother for a bone marrow transplant.So, I am a great advocate of self responsibility, as well as natural holistic health care. In my opinion we are a tremendously overmedicated society. Just to look at the addiction problem with pain meds is apalling, and the medical/pharmicide industry is the main culprit. I think the profit needs to come out of health care. I like the ancient Chinese village based model for health care. You paid your local doctor a small tithing each month as long as you were well. When you get sick, you stopped paying. The village doctor made sure you did the things to keep yourself well. Today we pay when we get sick so there is no incentive to keep us well.
Unfortunately, the debate going on today does not address what you describe; healthy, sane lifestyle choices and practices, and it's the people that embrace this lifestyle who are going to pay the most to insure the enabling/entitling plans that are out there. Blessings to Kim and her daughter. There is no question she should be guarenteed access to her meds and whatever she needs for her challenges, and I'm sure Dave agrees. What concerns us is the lack of energy in the debate about what we see as a national tragedy; an epedemic of poor health choices. I remember the chin up bar too.

Kim Broughton said...

Gratefuled, I totally agree about responsibility for ones own health care and also believe in natural holistic health and the power of positive thought on one's health. My dad died of a drug overdose and used pain meds he was able to get for years and never should have had. His burden on the health care system was gross and the fact he was able to continue to get these pills when his addiction was known was beyond belief. I was relieved when he needed a liver transplant because of his alcoholism and they said NO. It is sad to be in a position to have even faced that but the health care system funded his death. He was 100% responsible for his abuse of the system and himself. So how do you manage my daughter's legitimate need with my dad's gross abuse of everything he came into contact with? It is not a model I want to see continued as it currently exists. I lived in England for 2 years and saw the ups and downs on public health and know it is not the cure all. I love the Chinese model and was not aware of it. The reason I know Dave is because I have dedicated the past 4+ years of my life towards making changes to help folks make smarter life style changes. Amazing things are happening and it is all targeting at getting individuals more active. Personally, I am appalled at the lack of personal responsibility expected in so many areas of life and this is one of those examples. Recently in WV, a football coach was given no penalty for killing a cyclist while he was driving 99 miles and hour and texting. It wasn't intentional. This is a much bigger issue than health care. What can we do?

gratefuled said...

Thanks for sharing that touching and tragic personal story Kim. The story about the cyclist blows me away and is beyond any rational reply. As for what we can do. A wise man once told me the only way to change the world is to change yourself. Unfortunately that means a lot of self-education. The fall back position of corporate medicine is to medicate, medicate, medicate. Often, they're treating only the symptom and hooking us on whatever they're handing out in the mean time. I'm lucky that for the past three years, I met and married non-alopathic doctor who looks for the "root cause of pain and suffering" and works from there. It isn't easy, painless or quick , and it usually requires sustained treatment and an adjustment to lifestyle, but it works. She has a young boy as a patient that was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes a few months ago and now his insulin intake has gone from 10 units/day to very low doses, and some days his levels are within normal levels. It's a process where she hopes to have him insulin free, but it will take his choices to get there. My question is, how can that be? Why didn't the boys doctors give parents information about possible altenatives? Why did they tell the parents JD can only be mananged with insulin and not eating certain foods? Follow the money. I recommend that anyone with a serious illness get as educated as possible on the nature of the dis-ease and discover what all your choices are- especially before getting under the knife! Sometimes it's not in the best interest of the doctors, or they are afaid of malpractice, the insurance industry, or they're just poor physicians and don't know how to treat you. Thanks for your service to the US and good luck.

Kim Broughton said...

“As for what we can do. A wise man once told me the only way to change the world is to change yourself....” Indeed. I am a firm believer in that. The running joke at one of my jobs is that I am known as the "kook" because I practice that. Someone yelled that at me while commuting to work on my bike. It stuck. I am of course intrigued by the diabetes treatment as my daughter is a type 1 as well. I do know there are days she has not had to use insulin which is supposed to be unheard of but you speak of it as well. Insurance companies have started funding "alternative" health practices which is encouraging. Doctors like your wife, who are willing to practice "non-traditional" medicine, are heroes to me. I know doctors who want to but are afraid of being ridiculed. To me, closed minds are the illness and they hold us back in so many areas. Self-education is indeed very important. I appreciate your kind words and thoughts about my story. It was painful but did lead me to seek help, much like that provided by your wife. I found the root of my medical problems, which interestingly enough were based on relationships in my life that mirrored the type of one I had with my dad. Go figure. Through her help my aliments have disappeared and I have discontinued taking all (4 different kinds, some multiple times a day) medication. I went to the same doctor for years and I kept getting worse so he kept giving me more meds…exactly as you have stated, eh. It all goes back to personal responsibility, which was Dave’s point. It took a tragedy to make me look at the choices I was making that was keeping me ill. Medicate medicate medicate :)
Isn’t the definition of insanity to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result? I have never felt saner :). Thanks for your service to us and keep singing out about your wife and her results. It is calming to have your words, kook :).

gratefuled said...

Diffusing, neutralizing and dealing with bad guys- externally as well as internally; now you really are a true hero! I feel like we are kindered kooks :)
Deepest Blesings...

Kim Broughton said...

LOL! It has been a pleasure. Peace.