Monday, August 10, 2009

Bringing home Health Care Reform

thebagofhealthandpolitics over at FireDogLake has an excellent post today about how the media is failing to draw the dots on two huge issues that you see everyday in their coverage, usually in the exact same newscast: The threat of Swine Flu and Health Care Reform debate . Snip:

"As the media continues to cover the new pandemic swine flu and raise alarm about its possible comeback in the Fall, they have completely failed to cover a crucially important fact: our lack of universal access to quality, affordable health care drastically hinders our nation's efforts to control swine flu.

In order to be diagnosed with swine flu, one must see the doctor. General Practitioners treat the flu (among a myriad of other ailments). They are very good at their jobs, and they can properly treat a person with swine flu in order to ensure that the disease does as little harm as possible to them--and in order to ensure that the disease does not spread to others.

But General Practitioners can only do their jobs if people actually go to the doctor. Earlier this year a Kaiser Family Foundation study found that
1 in 4 Americans put off going to the doctor because of the cost of a visit. For media stars who make more in 15 minutes than the average American makes in a week, the $120 fee to see the doctor, or the $75 copay some "fortunate" Americans carry, might seem quite reasonable. But for average, working Americans visiting the doctor costs a day's pay. "

A very good point to remember the next time enjoy your local county fair, as we did this weekend. They've got hand sanitizing stations set up at every entrance to all the animal barns to combat the spread of 'zoonotic disease' (e.g. E.coli and other viral, bacterial or parasitic infections). But in the germcubating factory that is the carnival area? Where thousands of unwashed hands of the masses touch the exact same surfaces on rides and games every day? Not a one.

This year we saw the bunnies, and pygmy goats and chickens. But the pig barn? Conspicuously vacant. "No pigs this year" said the sign. Wonder why?

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