Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Health care blues

We had a discussion yesterday on the Affordable Care Act and how it affects women's health care, especially contraception.  I left the talk totally depressed.  This was further amplified by watching the 3rd presidential debate last night. 

I recognize that the ACA is not perfect, but it is a HUGE step towards affordable and comprehensive health care in this country. I believe that health care is a right, not a privilege.  I also know that we can not continue to afford the rising cost of health care as we can't even currently afford it.  I'm sickened by the fact that politicians play political chess with people's health.  I can not understand that level of disregard for another humans welfare; but I guess that is why they are politicians and I'm a (future) health care provider.

In the discussion yesterday, we were shown a slide from the New England Journal of Medicine article "A watershed election for health care (2012)".  The chart dives up the likely results to the ACA depending on the election outcomes.  It is no shock that Romney winning would be a very large step back for health care in the US (a long with LGBT rights, abortion rights, and so many other things), but what did give me pause was what happens if Obama is reelected with a republican house and senate.  "Maintenance of near pre-ACA levels of uninsured Americans; no substantial growth in levels.  Less aggressive implementation of ACA health system provisions".  Shit.  So basically more political chess with people's lives at stake.  Nothing will be accomplished, will still be stuck in the middle of nowhere.  Lovely.

Needless to say, I'm very worried about this election.

I am also so grateful to be an insured American with unlimited access to quality care. This year off from medical school has been full of many more doctors' visits than I would have imagined. After the horrible car accident with trip to the emergency room this summer, I'm now dealing with a whiplash, a pinched nerve (upper trunk of my brachial plexus), and radiculopathy. Weekly chiropractor appointments in attempts to fix that. I'm also finally address my chronic anemia, fatigue, and constant general yuckyness by figuring out the trigger. A round of visits to a GI and a abdominal CT have ruled out my celiac as the culprit. [Even if I did read my CT as having a "speckled colon and a titled uterus" - thankfully a radiologist who actually knew what he was reading righted my incorrect paranoid diagnosis.] Good to know that I'm not being accidentally glutened. The GI's answer to this was that I'm probably allergic to something (or many somethings) and so I should take a low level steroid to blunt my immune system. Um, no thanks. I'd rather just figure out what the cause is so that I can avoid it. So, today I am finally getting much need allergy testing. Thank G!d that my comprehensive trusty health care insurance is along for the ride.

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