Thursday, August 13, 2009

It Is Personal

For Pat at No Sheeples Here, Obama made it personal:

“All I'm saying is let's take the example of something like diabetes, one of—a disease that's skyrocketing, partly because of obesity, partly because it's not treated as effectively as it could be. Right now if we paid a family—if a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they're taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that's $30,000, $40,000, $50,000—immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. Well, why not make sure that we're also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation, right? That will save us money.

Why did those words strike a nerve with her:

As a person who has diabetes, I am infuriated at the propaganda being churned out by the current occupant of the Oval Office and his underlings in furtherance of America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (ObamaCare).

People with diabetes who work diligently at controlling this chronic disease have a health care team comprised of a general practitioner, an endocrinologist (a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the endocrine system), a dentist and/or periodontist (a dentist specializing in diseases of the gums and other structures surrounding the teeth), a podiatrist (a specialist in the care of the feet), a certified diabetes educator and/or dietician, an ophthalmologist or optometrist and a pharmacist. Their health care team might even include a mental health professional.

I have talked about my father's health struggles. Among his other serious health issues, my father, like Pat, is a diabetic. Like Pat, my father has medical team that keeps him on track. Outside of my father's experience I know a little something about having a health team.

On June 6, 2007 I took my garbage out to the street to be picked up the next morning. I remember hearing a loud noise followed by searing pain. I somewhat remember crawling back to my house. Most of the next two days are lost to me. I don't know what I "remember" and what I know because of conversations that took place after the fact. The clearest thing I remember is my surgeon telling me that the multiple breaks in my leg were so sever that the flow of blood to my foot had been all but cut off. For the next month, amputation was a real possibility. Thanks to luck, prayer, and an incredible medical team I kept my foot.

My insurance company at the time, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, backed me 100%. Honestly, amputation would have been the cheaper option for them. My father has been covered 100%. I haven't mentioned it before but my mother has MS and has been covered 100%.

Poll after poll has show that the vast majority of Americans are happy with their current health care and don't want it changed. Can someone tell me why we should give up our current level of care in favor of a budget busting plan that will result in increased taxes, inferior care, rationing and an increased government role in the lives of individuals and families?

For many of us, this isn't some abstract moral discussion-it is personal.

No comments: