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A Health Care Reformation Proclamation

doctor

Medical Insurance (or as it’s less accurately known; health insurance) is on its way to reformation. It’s not clear if the results of the reform will render the; coverage, procedures and rights of the users any more decipherable than they are right now. But what is clear is that the more something is examined the more flaws are brought to light.

We can all probably agree that good medical care should be available to all. Whether insurance is the means to that end is highly questionable. But we seem to be stuck with that particular paradigm. Anyone who has ever sought treatment, payment or reimbursement would probably be happy to swear on a big towering stack of bibles that insurance companies seem to be in the business of making money not providing good healthcare. But as we established; we are stuck with this paradigm. In the interest of making lemonade out of the soul crushing demoralizing oligarchy of the paradigm, let’s consider how government involvement might improve things. (There will be no rolling of the eyes.)

The most obvious improvement will be filling gaps in the current usage of medical care. Insured people are presumably less likely to use emergency rooms as their general practitioner. This is good for both continuity of care and preventive efforts. It is also an enormous cost savings. Insured people are more likely to visit doctors before a condition become acute. They are also more likely to take the full dosage of their prescribed (co-pay) medicines, when not compelled to ration. In theory medical insurance for all will lead to medical care for all. Whether it’s ‘good’ medical care is another issue altogether (that was less of an eye roll and more of a ‘whatever’.)

Where things potentially get exciting and sane is the possibility of payment parity. Currently medical insurance is sold in two sizes; individual and family. The individual plan is discreet and self-explanatory. The family-size is an unlimited free for all. There is nothing equitable about this framework. A two-person family is paying the same rate as a ten person family. A parent with one child is in essence subsidizing larger families. Two options of coverage (individual and family) only benefits large families (and no doubt insurance companies.) There is no other insurance plan (of which I’m aware) that operates this way. You don’t buy homeowner insurance for either one home or an unlimited amount of homes. You don’t purchase auto or life insurance in this manner either. You purchase insurance plans for each entity that needs coverage.

I would like to think that as the thinkologists are drawing up this new way of doing medical care business, they will take note of this inequity. (Can’t really see my eye rolling behind these rose colored glasses, can you?) Perhaps when all people (not covered by employers) have to purchase insurance they will balk at the two sizes fits all framework. People probably don’t spend a lot of time scrutinizing each pay-stub and considering their pre-tax contributions. But it’s hard to ignore being overcharged when you are writing the check.

Sometime during the last four decades or so we’ve convinced ourselves that medical insurance is mandatory and good. It is not a coincidence that healthcare costs have skyrocketed as we succumbed to this thinking. There are too many bad medical practices and less than good doctors hiding behind insurance. There is far too much money and time spent trying to keep costs down versus caring for people. Good care that focuses on what’s best for the patient is what we need. We’re on our way to medical insurance for all. Now how about some actual health care reform?

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Cultural Critique

 

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The Best Defense Is An Offense

Reports of inappropriate relations with children seem to be on the rise these days.  Why is that?  The more hopeful explanation is that children (and their parents) are savvier and have more ease discussing such issues than those who came before them.  This would suggest that incidents have not increased, but the reporting of them has.  The more frightening explanation however is that more troubled and/or very immature adults are around our children now.

Pedophilia is not the only classification, as it is all boundary crossing behavior we are discussing.  An adult, in a position of authority, who treats a child as an adult is on a slippery slope and is shirking their duties and responsibilities.  A teacher befriending a child is not necessarily a cause for alarm, it can be though if the teacher is immature and doesn’t embrace his/her role as an authority figure.  A sport coach or scout leader who takes a special interest in one or two children may also cause concern.  This is not a ‘boogie man’ “the sky is falling” call to arms.  It has always been the case that we need to keep a critical eye on adults who choose to spend time with children.

A physical relationship with a child has no shades of gray.  It is inexcusable and intolerable and we should be doing far more to prevent its occurrence.  We can not send children to school or camp, wrapped in armor.  Instilling them with a fear of adults is a huge disservice and ineffective (as some abuse is at the hands of other children or teenagers.)  But there are things we can do.

  • We can make our children strong
    • A child with strong self-esteem is less likely to be singled out for attention
    • A child should know how to stand up and say in a loud clear voice; “NO”
    • A child with an empathetic and loving adult in their lives, who spends time with them and is available emotionally is far less likely to respond to the adult attention
  • All employees need to be screened
    • Psychological tests must be given to all employees whose majority of work involves children
    • Medical professionals, teachers, coaches, school bus drivers, custodial staff need all be screened
    • Testing will measure two different outcomes; pedophilia and maturity
      • A cut-off point for maturity would need consensus but any indication of pedophilia would reject a candidate from the pool

Corporations screen applicants all the time.   We already enforce tests for many professions.  You can’t (legally) work in a kitchen until you’ve passed the health and safety test.  The school bus driver has a special license to get behind the wheel.   A clinically designed psychological test should not be seen as an infringement but as a requirement.  Is it uncomfortable to consider a doctor or a dentist inappropriately touching a child?  Absolutely.  Does anyone want to consider how many people go into child-centric professions because of their psychological flaws?  Heavens no.  But ignoring it won’t make it go away.  That’s what children think.  The first step to really protecting our children is to act like adults.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2012 in Childhood

 

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