Public Officials: please learn something from others!

The New York Times today has one of those “I can’t believe it took them this long to figure it out” articles that makes most of us say ‘duh!’ and a few rational public officials do something about the situation. In a nutshell, the findings are that “Officials decided that for many patients with chronic diseases, it would be cheaper to provide free preventive care than to absorb the high cost of repeated emergencies. ”
I know that this may be deemed some yankee-thinking here but really, it makes sense. When I consider the inumerable New Orleanians with no health care who are repeatedly visiting emergency rooms for very common, treatable diseases, it really makes me wish there were superior health care systems here that would realize that disease prevention and treatment was, is, and will always be more cost effective than emergency care (of course, it is a shame that the dollar effect holds more import than the actual welfare of people, but it is what it is).

5 Comments so far

  1. Laurie (unregistered) on October 25th, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

    The New York Times is sensationalist media not to be taken seriously.

    They’re not smarter than us they just dress differently.


  2. Laurie (unregistered) on October 25th, 2006 @ 1:48 pm

    Only one problem with the thought line

    probability of socialized medicine

    next thing you know we won’t be living in a democracy.


  3. Cade Roux (unregistered) on October 25th, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

    I think some HMOs tried this already – but then they got so demonized, no one listened to them.

  4. Mike_H (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2006 @ 4:17 pm

    The problem in New Orleans is not that the medical community can’t see the benefits of disease prevention here…it is that the people who get the diseases can’t see it. The Charity system gave free health care to anyone who couldn’t afford it. That meant if you had high blood pressure, they would treat you for free. About half the time if you didn’t have money they would even give you the medication. Only about 5% of the eligible population stepped up and took advantage of the offer. The rest of the people only went when they were already sick with high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney failure and the cost to treat them was much higher. Also, try getting someone around here to do lifestyle modification to lose weight so they don’t get the diabetes or blood pressure that runs in their family. It seems it is against New Orleanians’ rights to suggest they eat less and exercise. God forbit you tell someone to stop smoking! You’d think you told them to cut off their hands or something.

    Laurie hit on something in her post about socialized medicine. If you take away people’s right to make their own choices, then they can’t make stupid choices (unless they work for the government). If you do that, then you can make sure everyone stays healthy. You also make sure that they are not free. So remember, there will be numbers of people who will not take care of themselves today, because they know if they live long enough you will pay the big bucks in your taxes to take care of them tomorrow.

    Damn, I sound as dark as Jack when he’s had a few.

  5. Heather (unregistered) on November 3rd, 2006 @ 10:30 am

    I see what you are saying but I don’t think that there are a lot of people who would rather be sick and have someone else pay for it rather than not be sick. Diabetes isn’t fun even if someone else is footing the medical bills.

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