LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Thinking about the Supreme Court


noun \ˈher-ə-ˌtik, ˈhe-rə-\
: a dissenter from established religious dogma
: one who dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine : nonconformist

I’m not sure how I went from True Believer to Heretic. I don’t think there was any one event, rather I think it was a gradual process. An erosion of the soul.

What? Oh. No, no, no. I’m not talking about my religion. My religion, diabetes, remains as strong as ever. I’m talking about healthcare reform. The badly media-named ObamaCare. (Stupid name, he didn’t create it. It should be called Congress Doesn’t Care, instead.) And actually, we all need to quit calling it healthcare reform. It’s not. It’s nothing more than health insurance reform.

Anyway, as all of you should know, the Affordable Care Act has been trussed up with a rope and delivered to the gallows where nine potential executioners wearing long black robes instead of long black hoods will decide whether to execute it, disembowel it, cut its hands off, or maybe even let it go free.

American democracy in action.

Everyone in the country has their fingers crossed. Those that support the law have their fingers crossed that the Supreme Court will show supreme mercy and let the Act become the law of the land. Those idiots who’ve never used their health insurance, and think it’s just peachy-keen the way it is, have their fingers crossed that the court will strike the act down.

Sorry, that wasn’t very journalistic of me, was it?

Even the un-insured are split. Some want the law, as they are desperate for coverage. Others fear it, as the government is going to require them to give more money to Wall Street.

And what are my fingers crossed for? You think you know, but you’re wrong. I’m crossing my fingers the Court strikes it down.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. Settle down. Let me finish before you flame me.

I hope they strike it down because it’s a bad law. And it’s a bad law because it doesn’t go far enough. It’s fucking Band-Aid on an ruptured aortic aneurysm. It simply won’t do. At all. But if we have it, if it survives, it allows our elected leaders to proclaim “mission accomplished” and turn their backs on the problem. And this law won’t fix the problem of healthcare in our country.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in universal coverage. With all my heart. I believe in banning pre-existing conditions. I believe in making everyone take some finical responsibility for their health and healthcare.

But I do not believe in leaving the wolves in charge of the henhouse. And that’s what this law does. Frankly, I surprised that the Conservatives hate it. A law that requires every man, woman, and child in the country purchase a commercial product, with virtually no checks, balances, and oversight? My God! What a gift to the insurance industry! The latest estimates are that just over 17% of Americans are currently without health insurance. That’s more than 53 million people. What’s a typical health insurance policy cost per year? About 6K? The Affordable Care Act would inject three hundred eighteen billion dollars into the Swiss bank accounts of the health insurance industry.

What a sweet deal.

This Act is a disaster. It doesn’t address the cracks in the foundation of American healthcare. It doesn’t fix the problems of greed and waste and injustices that make us some of the sickest people on the planet, while still paying more for healthcare than any other people. All it does is put off the inevitable brick wall that we are screaming towards at top speed. How much longer can our fragile economy keep absorbing double-digit increases in all things related to health?

I promise you, healthcare, left unfixed, will accomplish what the sub-prime fiasco failed to do: bring us to our knees and leave us in economic ruin. Politicians like to fear monger and talk bullshit about who will pay for reform. None ask the real question: who will pay the much, much, much higher cost of doing nothing?

If the six old men and three old women strike the Affordable Care Act down, it may be a blessing. Oh, I know. It will be a disaster in the short term. Both human and economic. A metaphorical asteroid strike.

But from the ashes maybe we’ll do it right.


Blogger Scott S said...

Don't count on lawmakers to do it right, as Congressmen and women (all of whom enjoy what could be called gold-plated healthcare plans ... for the rest of their lives, no less) have conveniently exempted themselves from every provision in the law. Also, they talked and talked and talked about fixing healthcare for an incredible 17 years following President and Hillary Clinton's first ill-fated attempt at it, and during that time, the percentage of Americans who were uninsured quadrupled, while the percentage paid by those who had health insurance doubled. To me, that suggests there was no perspective on what the problem really was. Ultimately, a tiny state like Vermont may get it right. Vermont, sick of ridiculous price increases in private insurance year after year, has decided to kick private insurance out of the state and build a state-owned system instead (yeah, some are screaming they're Commies, and this was the state that elected a socialist named Bernie Sanders to office), as they figure with a state population of a little over a half a million people (heck, I live in NYC, there are a half million people in my NEIGHBORHOOD) they can build a state plan and operate it cheaper than the greedmongers at big insurance. They may well be right. Virtually every country that has a state-run health insurance system spends significantly less on a per capita basis than those with private insurance do, and that's based on an international comparison of like 167 countries!

However, if you anticipate Congress to do anything, I think we'll all be waiting a very, very, very, very, very, very long time!

1:36 PM  
Anonymous StephenS said...

Wil, I can see your point. But it kills me to think about the people caught in the middle with no care while lawmakers hash out another half-hearted plan. I think we would all like to see congress pay more attention to doing what's right rather than self-preservation.

8:11 PM  

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