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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:45 PM
Original message
A Nation of Typhoid Marys
Edited on Sat May-02-09 08:46 PM by cal04
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/opinion/03kristof.htm...

As swine flu spreads around the country, its only appropriate that the next political donnybrook may concern health care.

Vice President Joseph Biden said a few days ago that for the second 100 days of the administration, the top of the agenda, the very top, is health care. Lacing its armor across the field, a group called Conservatives for Patients Rights is airing commercials denouncing (and distorting) President Obamas health care proposals.

Not to be impolite, but Republicans like Karl Rove and Senator Susan Collins (along with some Democrats) lost credibility on this front when they scolded Mr. Obama a few months ago for proposing stimulus spending on something as frivolous as ... preparations for a flu pandemic. (Note to Senator Collins: You might want to remove from your Senate Web site the February article citing your opposition to pandemic preparation.)

The flu crisis should be a wake-up call, a reminder that one of our vulnerabilities to the possible pandemic is our deeply flawed medical system.

Think of the 47 million Americans who lack insurance. They are less likely to receive flu vaccines (which might or might not help), less likely to receive prompt care when they get sick, and less able financially to stay home from work and thus they are more likely both to die and to spread the virus inadvertently.

These are, in effect, 47 million Typhoid Marys of the next pandemic at risk themselves and to their families and neighbors, said Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia Universitys Mailman School of Public Health.

(snip)
If a severe pandemic materializes, Dr. Redlener said, all of society could pay a heavy price for decades of failing to create a rational system of health care that works for all of us.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. More like Chcken Littles
People need to just get a grip.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's a good response to the headline
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:14 PM by kristopher
but it indicates you aren't paying attention to the point of the article, which is that our health care system has a built in problem in the event there is a serious communicable disease emergency. Those who lack health care won't seek help as rapidly as they would if they were covered. This time lag could be the difference between successfully containing an outbreak and the disease getting ahead of prevention.
In fact, as I think of the progression of AIDs, I suspect the thesis applies to what happened in the late 80s.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I was, in fact, responding to the headline
but I also read the article, and I'm not sure I agree with the premise. My daughter works in a public health clinic, and they have been deluged with calls and drop-ins who have coughs, sneezes and runny noses, and want a dose of that there tammy flu medicine. Their clients seem to be possessed of a healthy sense of entitlement, and a broad awareness of what avenues of help are available to them. They are also highly susceptible to the kind of fear mongering emanating from the cable channels, talk radio and the tabloid press. Drop a flu scare into the middle of the maximum pollen season and you get people lining up out the door at public clinics.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. "Their clients seem to be possessed of a healthy sense of entitlement"
Paint with a broad brush much? 49M people are uninsured; and I doubt seriously if the vast majority of them fit the Repuke stereotype you've just regurgitated.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I think we should have univeral, single payer health care
We don't. Poor folks are not stupid, just poor. They are aware of what's available to them and they use it. But, as a society, we have a tendency toward hysteria.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I'm glad you endorse single payer
However, taking into account your previous remark, your analysis of "poor" people totally disregards the objective facts about the manner the poor fail to seek health care.
Here's a thought, the next time you feel the urge to generalize like that about 49 million people, just hold it in.
Here are two examples:
A good friend was a merchant seaman with a very good job and benefits. He has a seizure while at sea (quite probably induced by some of the toxic fumes he often has to work in) and was "laid off" then fired. Medical benefits for 6 month or so and then nothing. Because of the seizure he couldn't drive for two years.
Sure he knows he can go to the emergency room. He also knows what an emergency room is actually for. He would have to be next to death before he would use it.
Another is the story of young college grad, three years working for two failed companies. She has been living on shitty tips at a restaurant that provides no benefits. She put herself through college and is extremely self sufficient - do you think she is going to fit the bigoted profile you have of "the poor"?

Frankly you make my skin crawl.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. You have an anecdotal, 2nd hand story....
...about some poor people showing up at a public clinic with runny noses, and you are going to use THAT to proclaim that our current system is adequate to protect the uninsured in America.

<deleted personal insult about lack of critical thinking skills>

I have no doubt that there has been an increase of people concerned about their health at public clinics.
I wonder what percentage of people without resources who are concerned about their family's health did NOT show up at a Public Clinic this week?

BTW: You stated above that you believe in Single Payer Universal HealthCare, but you are extremely critical of people who believe that they are entitled to HealthCare.
How do you resolve this contradiction?
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