You've all heard the Presidential Primary claptrap about lowering the cost of "health care" via more failing free market health-o-nomics, extracting funds from wages to pay for insurance and mystical strategies to reduce health premiums. These are "plans" promoted by pseudo experts known as politicians who have turned the words Type II Diabetes and Obesity into some kind of national religion.
Okay. These are serious conditions. I'm not making light of their impact nationally or for any individual patient. But I can hear the new President now: "My friendly Americans: Type II Diabetes and Obesity, Type II Diabetes and Obesity.....And in closing: Ask not what Type ll Diabetes and Obesity can do for you, ask what you can do for Type II Diabetes and Obesity."
A monkey wrench got thrown into that hodgepodge of carbohydrate overload related disorders when one study showed that it was advantageous to be somewhat obese post-MI and another showed that higher sugar levels rather than tightly controlled sugars decrease certain cardiac problems.
Then you have the phenomenon of Wal-Mart opening up Health Care Clinics in Wal-Mart. "Now featured on Aisle 3-Half-priced bedding plus your choice of discounted pillow cases and a buy one get one free-check your cholesterol and get a triglyceride level or a fasting blood sugar for nothing- Act now shoppers!!!"
In fact, I think the Wal-Mart concept isn't bad, because it does get into this "public awareness of improving health" category. Buy a Debbie Something's exercise video at Wal Mart and check your lipids. Pick up a paperback on the South Beach diet and have a general practitioner check your blood pressure.
But as I have noted previously, "What does this have to do with expensive disease care that is involved in a disease such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) that, except in a very general sense, has nothing to do with carbs, jumping jacks, cholesterol, or the American penchant for gorging down a wheelbarrow full of Chicken Nuggets with a side bucket of fries as a prelude to Type II Diabetes and Obesity?
Beyond that of course is the example of the late John Ritter whose unfortunate early death had to do with a ruptured thoracic aneurysm, not a marquee problem at a Wal-Mart clinic. Of course not- the diagnosis and treatment of a thoracic aneurysm like that of Multiple Sclerosis requires high-powered specialty care!!!
We must have universal affordable specialty care for all patients with MS, an issue largely different from smoking cessation programs offered by HMO's. The former is a big-ticket item for seriously ill people, afflicted with a disorder whose onset had nothing to do with life style. The latter is a laudable health improvement low budget project, some kind of public service announcement that's personalized.
Until we refine the "Health Care" debate, MS will be tossed into the "Health Care Bin of Everything" which includes the cost of aroma health therapy for chronic groin pain, Oriental health massage for acute back strain, nip and tucks for buttocks health care and lest I forget the dual conditions that mean everything to everyone Type II Diabetes and its enormously health challenged sister - Obesity.
Published On: February 13, 2008