Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Five On Health Care: IV - Health Attention

Things look different when we are sick. Much of our rationality and nobility erodes under duress. 

This is the section I am having most trouble getting my thoughts around.  We are grateful to have insurance, even when none of the treatments are working and are even increasing our discomfort.  We are grateful to live in a time and place where there are new treatments, even when none of them are working and they increase our discomfort. There is something about just being in the game, being in innovative America with lots of care at no cost, that we value – even when there is no improved health.  But ultimately we tire of this, as in cancer patients who decline another round of chemo.  It all had such value for us in 2004, but in 2005 we say “so what?”

If we go for medical care which ends up causing us damage, we will initially rail against the system, but revert to being grateful for the insurance and the innovative care – even if they aren’t working. 

If you or your child has a chronic condition requiring expensive care, you will be tearfully grateful for insurance, and numbed by the thought of losing it.  You will also be hopeful for future cures and treatments, resenting regulations which discourage research or new products. We resent others manipulating the system to get unneeded care, dwindling the pile we or our child might draw from.  We also resent the high cost and profits of the makers of medications and medical devices.  So we will want our system to be wildly socialistic and cowboy capitalist at the same time.  We know this but cannot easily think about the conflict.  How could we?


james said...

Several of our children benefited from very expensive intervention through the very nice Wisconsin state worker insurance system (cut back recently, as you may have heard). Right now we're paying out of pocket. I wonder about the benefit: I've tried to see what measurables we could use to find out what is actually effective, and haven't come up with much. My wife thinks some programs helped when I couldn't tell the difference; and some were pretty experimental to begin with.
We know the system now, and could probably arrange for a few final autism "therapies" before the kids age out, but we agreed that wasn't conscionable.

Donna B. said...

This is the old "if you've got a problem that money can solve, you haven't got a problem" problem.

No amount of money or insurance is going to buy an intervention that doesn't exist yet.