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25 August 2009

Message to Shimp

Dear Alane -

I did not know about your son. I guess i've not read far enough back in your archives to be aware. Please forgive me if my stand or the things i've said have hurt you. That was not my intent.

I think we both agree that there is a need in this country for reform of the medical situation, we just disagree on where that needs to occur.

I am not trying to deny that folks with chronic issues need to have access to care. Your son's situation is most definitely one of those where medical care & intervention are paramount, & we must not do away with that care or access to that care.

My concern is also personal. Quite frankly, conventional medical care has made me very ill. And they have treated me like i'm stupid & mentally ill. And nothing that they have done or suggested has improved my situation in any way. We spend quite a lot of money every month on those things that i listed. None of it would be covered by insurance. Non-conventional ("alternative") treatments CAN help many folks (no guarantee, but none for conventional medical either). But i'm not trying to force that on anyone, any more than i think conventional care should be forced. I'm concerned that if a national health plan goes into effect, alternative treatments that are beneficial will be squeezed out & we will be left with no choice.

What is more, it is my belief that conventional medical care partnered with food companies have made the country ill. Our understanding of the body & how it works is still very rudimentary, & pharmaceuticals, chemicals, & other issues are a big problem for our society. Flu vaccines are NOT the best way to combat flu, but they will be given as the only choice & that is where the money will be spent.

The problem, as i see it, is how the system is likely to be developed. Drug companies already make a lot of money in the US. Money that they do not make in other countries. The pharmaceutical companies have prices set here & they got Congress to pass a measure so that Medicare cannot negotiate prices. If we develop a health care system in this manner, our country will go down in flames. I'm NOT opposed to a system like Canada's - at least for those who op-in to it. But i'm very fearful that is not what will happen here.

If we are going to spend the amount of money proposed, i'd be much more in favor of a medical savings account system for people to utilize, because i am a big fan of choice & personal responsibility. I do NOT have all the answers. In fact, like the cartoon in the previous post, i'm not too sure of what i "know" any more.

I think that we are on the same side in that we both want people to be cared for, particularly those who are in dire need of care. I just think that we see that happening in different ways. And again, if i have hurt you in any way, please forgive me. I was not trying to be oppositional or rude.

And, learning about other situations like the one in which you live helps to stretch me & hopefully make me more compassionate.


1 comment:

Land of shimp said...

Kathryn, you didn't hurt me at all! :-) I think you're a lovely, and kind person. It's clear that you're compassionate, and even given that knowledge, I fully understand your reasons for your own stance.

My situation with my son is a deeply personal thing, but I understand that anyone who believes differently is absolutely NOT saying, "Well, too bad for him. Those are the breaks." I can't ask an entire country to change for the sole benefit of my son. I hope for the change for the benefit of all, but now may not be the time for it.

It's been my experience that most people are good and kind, perhaps I've been fortunate, but I truly believe that there is a lot of core decency in a lot of people.

I'm also not bitter that if health care reform does not pass it will mean we need to go elsewhere. I referenced my ancestors coming over on the ship after the Mayflower, and I know why they came here. There were Anabaptist, fleeing religious persecution, they came in search of a better life and found exactly that. My mother is a naturalized citizen, she came her seeking more opportunity, and found that also.

I'm very grateful for my heritage, and for being an American. If health care reform doesn't happen in the way to best support my son's very individual situation, then so be it. That's part of what comes with living in a democracy, the will of the people will prevail, as it should be.

I know you have personal reasons for feeling as you do, and I think your feelings, and reasons are equally valid.

We do both want people to be healthier, and better cared for, overall. If we don't agree on the method? That's absolutely fine :-) I'll continue to wish you very good health, and hope that you find it. I also know that you would wish the same for me, and my family.

It's been a pleasure getting to know you, and I look forward to reading your blog in the future. You have a gentle spirit, and clearly do possess compassion.

As for my son? Well, maybe it is simply his fate to go and contribute his part in society to some place else. It's not a terrible fate by a long shot. He has a manageable condition. I only mentioned it because it does inform my views.

Whatever comes of this debate on the national stage, I only want it to best benefit the majority of people, and my answer for that may not be the needed answer.

If that's the case, I will simply thank the powers that be that there are options available to him.

And who knows, it may even be a moot point. The projected date for the release of medical treatment to provide a monthly shot to manage Type 1 diabetes is currently 2012. There may still be a cure in the offing.

All things are possible, thank goodness :-)

Be well, now and always :-)