Sunday, May 7, 2017
Yes, People Die from Lack of Access to Health Care
I don't want to oversimplify things here, but I'm not even sure what the Idaho congressman thinks health care is for. If getting medical attention wasn't for, um, our health, are we just being weird wanting people to see us nekkid and giving us random tests for entertainment's sake? Of course we go to doctors for our health because we want to live and think something has gone wrong with our bodies. What else are we looking for? Who has a disconnect between health services and the desire to keep on living?
That's a really special kind of stupid he has, right there.
More than that, before the ACA, there was a study that found that 45,000 deaths per year were attributable to people just not being financially able to access health services because they weren't covered. These were people who had conditions that might be curable or manageable, and could have lived quite alright lives. They just couldn't afford to...live. They didn't have the money to see the right doctors and get the right care. They died because they never got their sugar regulated, their blood pressure sorted, that wound looked at. They died because that cough never did go away, or that thing on their neck never bothered them so much.
I buried my mother-in-law today, and her passing was made better because of excellent care covered by Medicare. She lived longer because she had access to insulin and Metformin and blood thinners and blood pressure medications, but when that was not enough, she had access to rehabilitation care for stroke treatment and hospice. Even when death is inevitable, the access to specialized treatment and care is essential and valuable and an absolute gift for the loved ones of the patient.
Discounting this reality is weird and a terrible lie. Of course health care matters. From the obstetrics ward to hospice. We are mortal, and our time here is fragile and fraught with mortal perils. We benefit from doctors, from their slapping our just-born bottoms and jabbing us with vaccines, to setting our bones and seeing to our various ailments.
It is just true. We would die earlier without such care. We just would.