Monday, April 13, 2009
I finally got around to reading the newspaper today after finding out about the death of one of my favorite baseball players of all time. My list includes two players, the first being Jim Abbott, the one handed hurler who pitched for the University of Michigan and then had a stellar career with the Angels before moving on to the Yankees (for whom he threw a no hitter). The second, also a pitcher, was from my favorite team and has to be one of the biggest sport personalities ever. Mark the Bird Fidrych talked to the ball as he wandered the mound preparing for his next pitch. His untimely death occured on his farm in Michigan. Rest in peace Bird.
However, as big of a story as that is, it wasn't in this mornings paper. What was, was an article written by Linda Johnson entitled "Diabetics skimping on care in recession." You can guess what most of the article is about just from the title. Folks with diabetes (both type 1 and 2) are not seeing their doctors or are using less of their prescriptions because of the downturn in the economy. Cutting back on jobs means fewer people have health benefits, or at the very least severely reduced health care. As this happens more and more the overall cost to the average American citizen will only increase as these people will eventually end up in the emergency room (with no health insurance to cover).
Clearly the Obama administration has made health care a priority, but with partisan bickering still running the House and Senate the issue has a long way to go. I understand the the reason America has provides the world with most of the cutting edge medical research is that it is so cut throat. Doctors and researchers have monetary stake in advancing science.
But, there has to be a point where we collectively say it's not OK for people who have disabilities (especially those of us who have no control over getting the disease) to suffer the consequences because of job losses in an economy that is failing. I am fortunate enough to be employed at the moment and to have savings enough to pay for COBRA when I wasn't employed, but clearly that is not the case for everyone.
Let's make a change so that everyone can be taken care of.