US Does Not Guarantee Healthcare To Diabetics Until Kidney Failure

If you are a diabetic in the United States, you will pay
more for your insulin than anywhere else in the world and you are much less likely
to have insurance pay for your required care. Presently, if a diabetic lacks
private insurance, the U.S. government does not guarantee any medical care for
that person until he or she is in end-stage renal failure, which means on kidney
dialysis.  This provision is thanks to a 1963
act of Congress authorizing Medicare inclusion for those in end-stage kidney failure. If
an individual is on Medicaid, which is for low-income folks, healthcare is
provided. But working-class people without insurance are left out in the cold, unable to afford private insurance and struggling to buy their insulin.
The Trump Administration is suing the federal agency charged with
administering the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare,
which is one of the few methods that people can obtain affordable health
insurance. In the United States only 52% of employers provide any kind of
medical insurance or workplace benefits. Consequently 48% of the working
population lacks access to affordable healthcare. In addition, if the Trump
Administration gets its way it will rollback protections for people with
pre-existing conditions and they will be unable, in many cases, to obtain any
medical insurance. Keeping with current trends the Trump Administration and
Senate leader, McConnell are intent to take the nation back to the fifties, not
1950, but 1850.

The US does not guarantee any access to primary healthcare
for people with chronic diseases, like Type 1 Diabetes and in fact, many cannot
afford to pay for their insulin, and some have died. This needs to stop.

  1.  Firstly, as a nation we need to start providing primary care to prevent kidney
    failure for diabetics and others. Providing care earlier will reduce problems
    and costs later. 
  2. Secondly, we need to reduce the manipulations of the
    pharmaceutical industry to continually up-sell scant changes in patent formulations which restrict access to affordable generic drugs.
  3. Thirdly, the Food and Drug Administration
    should represent the people of the United States and quit viewing
    pharmaceutical companies as its customers. A regulatory agency must maintain a
    separate authority from those it is policing. 
  4. Fourthly, let’s restore the
    application of quality science in health policy decision-making. 
  5. Finally, establishing a national healthcare policy, like
    Medicare-for-all would alleviate a number of these challenges, by providing a
    baseline of care, establishing one government authority to negotiate for pricing
    for health products and services, and lowering administrative costs.

 

To that end, I am once-again riding the Russell Ride from
Bremerton, Washington to Napa, California to promote the research Benaroya
Research Institute is doing to cure Type 1 Diabetes, an auto-immune disease
which took my brother at age 42. I will be speaking with people along the coast
and listening to their stories about their diabetic challenges. This year, my son,
Nathan will be riding with me. Join us for the Russell Ride by following me on Twitter
or on the fundraising site below.

And this is the healthpolicymaven signing off encouraging
you not to sign blanket medical releases, but specify that for which you
consent and what you decline. And do consider making a contribution to the site, I hope to obtain 100 contributions this year.

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