I hope that everyone had a wonderful summer. When
it comes to health there is alot going on between healthcare reform and the
swine flu. I have some definite views on both. Read on.
Many of my patients have asked me what I think
about healthcare reform. Here is what I think:
I listen to the Sunday morning pundits and they talk about the majority of
Americans who are happy with their healthcare. Where are these people? Even the
patients that I see with health insurance are not happy. They are worried about
losing their insurance. They are upset that the insurance companies are
dictating what medications they should be on. They are upset about the rising
insurance costs and premiums. They are upset that their doctors do not have
time to address their problems in ten-minute visits.
Those without insurance or insurance that have high deductibles and minimum
coverage are facing horrible decisions. These include decisions between
medications and eating and paying rent. Many with unexpected illnesses are
Just last week, I was advising one of my son's friends who just turned 21 on
what to do regarding his medical care. He developed severe, intense chest
pain. He was hospitalized with a diagnosis of pericarditis (inflammation of the
lining around the heart). He spent five days in the hospital out of state where
he is in school and working. Two of those days were wasted by cancellation of
procedures and tests. He has insurance that caps out at $50,000. His
hospitalization will cost at least that amount. It turns out that the
pericarditis may be due to Hodgkin's disease. This is a curable, treatable form
of cancer. His insurance is used up. He has no idea how he is going to pay for
this treatment. Now he faces the decision of filing for bankruptcy at the age
of 21. Here is a young, vital person, who has the potential to be a valuable
contributor to society, one of our children, yet he is faced with the decision
of bankruptcy or no treatment for a treatable disease.
I just want to scream. It is time to wake up America. There is no reason why we
cannot all have affordable health care. When we take care of each other we are
all going to benefit! No one should have to face financial ruin due to health
problems. When we have a healthy population, we will have a productive healthy
society. The time for a national healthcare plan is now.
In summary, as a practicing physician, I support and applaud the President for
proposing a healthcare plan. I shudder to think what will happen if something
isn't put into place soon.
I am not sure what to think about the H1N1
vaccine. I would like to see the safety profile when it is released.
Regardless, the vaccine will not be available for a little while. In the
meantime, the best way to avoid the flu is to do some very simple things. Wash
your hands. Avoid touching your mouth and nose. Avoid crowds. Eat healthy and
exercise. Probiotics such as probiotic pearls can also boost your immune
system. If you do get sick with the flu, stay home and do not go to work. Cough
into a tissue or your sleeve, and consider getting Tamiflu for your family.