We have a presidential election coming up next year and our next candidates will be selected in the coming months. Now is the time to make your voice heard on important health issues affecting Americans with asthma.
Each year, the number of uninsured (health insurance) keeps rising, with numbers in the 45 to 50 million people range. That's a pretty scary statistic, isn't it? Lucky me, I'm one of them. When you're self-employed as I am, buying health insurance at individual subscriber rates is cost prohibitive.
According to the 2006 Census Bureau statistics, more than 7 million children are uninsured. Asthma, though it can affect all ages, is largely a chronic disease of children, and those numbers are rising too. I have to wonder how many more children with asthma could be living healthier lives if they had health insurance.
Asthma is an extremely expensive disease to have. Recent research has resulted in really effective new medicines that can completely control asthma and prevent its symptoms, when used correctly. Unfortunately, these new drugs cost a lot to buy. I don't know about you, but it costs me over $100 a month to buy my two asthma inhalers.
Is it any wonder that asthma control is an ongoing challenge in the US? There are tremendous incentives to not get prescriptions filled at all, or if they are filled, to only take the medicine some of the time, so as to make it last longer. I know; I've been there. And I'm a nurse and should know better.
It's time for our lawmakers to take a hard look at the costs of healthcare, AND the huge number of Americans who have no health insurance to cover those costs. Things need to change, and soon.
We are one of the wealthiest, most technologically-advanced nations on the planet, and yet also one of the least healthy. Hello? Is anyone listening?
If you'd like, weigh in on these issues by leaving a comment here. In January, HealthCentral will be launching a new initiative to help educate our political candidates on the pressing health issues of our experts and readers. Make your voice one that is heard here, won't you?
Published On: December 18, 2007