Enlightened Self-Interest

This study puts numbers on what nurses and providers who work with low-income Americans already know– medical care when it’s needed saves lives, health and money…

When poor people are given medical insurance, they not only find regular doctors and see doctors more often but they also feel better, are less depressed and are better able to maintain financial stability, according to a new, large-scale study that provides the first rigorously controlled assessment of the impact of Medicaid.

Part of our health care problem is that we fail to prevent disease, and end up spending huge bucks in the hospital. Most of the people I work for are on Medicaid, most of them are elderly or disabled. There’s a trickle-down effect when a grandmother babysits so a mother can work. There’s security for middle aged people whose parents have health insurance. That’s not even taking into account the lifelong benefits of maternal-child health.

It will take more than this study to convince politicians who believe that tax breaks for the rich are more important than life-saving services for the poor, but it’s good to have the numbers to back up what we see every day.

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7 responses

  1. Kiersten Marek | Reply

    I was interested to learn that only 6% of total health care dollars are spent on mental health services. It’s a very small amount of the overall health care costs but I bet it enhances quality of living more than a lot of other more expensive services, and results in people making better decisions which positively impacts their long term health.

    Can you believe Obama is talking about cutting medicare and social security? It’s getting into bizarro world.

  2. Reduce fraud and waste and services can remain intact.Is that too simple?
    This isn’t the place to make basic cuts.
    I know you two will not like this,but NO illegal alien should be receiving anything but life saving services.
    Being forced to treat illegal aliens for routine reasons at ER’s and not eing able to collect from them is putting hospitals out of business.
    Obama’s solution is to make them all legal.What an idiot.
    He just doesn’t learn.
    I am glad the Supreme Court made him stay out of the Texas execution.He had no business trying to use “international law” to forestall justice.The man admitted he did it.Obama’s sympathies are really misplaced.

    1. right now, if you go to the ER and can’t pay, you speak to a social worker and apply for help under the Hill Burton Act. how much better to insure everyone. ‘illegal aliens’ don’t qualify for any services, but we sensibly don’t demand patients ‘show their papers’ when they’re having chest pain. denying ‘routine’ care eventually ends up as a 911 in many cases, and again, you don’t dump people on the street to die because they forgot their wallet.
      misuse of the emergency room is one problem that health care reform is intended to solve. as small and disappointing as health reform is today, it is one of Barack Obama’s great accomplishments.

      1. I’m against waste and fraud too. In any organization as big as Medicare and Medicaid, it has to be dealt with constantly.

      2. I don’t see where I suggested that someone with chest pains(or any other serious medical complaint of an acute nature)be asked for”papers”.
        They damn well should be for anything else and be denied care if they can’t prove they’re legal.
        You jumped right into hyperbole with that comment about throwing people into the street to die.
        My son got a severe grease burn and had no insurance-he self-treated for awhile until it got really bad and then had to pay cash.I guess his crime was being born here and speaking English,even though he is quite obiously Hispanic.This extreme concern with the “rights”of people who sneak in here or overstay a visa is sickening.They get due process-anything else is too much.
        Don’t get sick in a foreign country without LOTS of cash.

  3. Universal health care is a common good, and no one should have to go without care, least of all your son.
    I’ve sat with people in the RIH social work office to help them negotiate payment plans for what Hill-Burton doesn’t cover.
    If large numbers of poor people are getting care with no need to show ID or means to pay, let me know where they go. I have ‘born in RI’ friends who don’t have insurance. Some of them are independent small business owners. I hope that health care reform will make insurance affordable to them.
    There are other countries that have universal insurance. Majane Satrapi, author of Persepolis, passed out with pneumonia on a park bench in Paris and woke up in a hospital. An uninsured American would be safer getting sick in Montreal than Selma. If I could have applied half the time I spend on insurance paperwork to patient care I’d have solved our health care crisis myself.

    1. Please don’t expect me to carry water for insurance companies.
      The limits on the crap that insurance companies can pull was one part of health care reform that was indisputably good.
      What I have problems with is the truly corrupt process of waivers to groups like the SEIU when small employers will be hammered.It’s the “let’s you and him fight”syndrome.
      Also the mandatory nature of the legislation-I think it skirts the edge of constitutionality and it will definitely have to be decided in the Supreme Court.
      BTW,try passing out with pneumonia in Mexico.Good luck.
      The paperwork is awesome involving insurance.I take care of my mom’s medical paperwork and it’s riddled with double charges and other errors.She’s 98 and even though she’s competent,it’s too confusing for most older people.
      I will repeat again,no one should be denied emergency care but elective stuff is a different story if the person doesn’t even belong here.

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