In the first of what I feel sure will be many articles examining this topic, The Salt Lake Tribune looks at some of the ramifications the current economic crisis is already having on American health care. This particular piece looks at the increasingly dire situations faced by the residents of Utah.
From the obvious implications such as people skipping routine care to conserve finances to the not so blatant ones like the fact that low income residents who rely on Medicare or Medicaid are also skipping these procedures because they are unable to afford the costs of transportation. If you add in the increase in health problems caused by stress and bouts of economy-induced depression amongst the populace, the picture gets more and more grim.
Heather May and Lisa Rosetta report:
Scrimping Utahns are skipping preventive checkups and forgoing needed dentures and crowns. More are seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. They're lining up for nearly free health care or heading to emergency rooms.The article in question provides a disturbing view of the trends that seem to be beginning to take hold, showing why the need for immediate reform of American health care is essential. It is an unsettling read, but one that I advise. Let us hope that the incoming administration is able to implement substantive reform in time to avert more stories like this one.
Or they simply suffer until they can afford to care for their out-of-control diabetes or festering wounds.
"It takes a lot on one's body and soul even," said Shawna Zink, of Magna. "I'll be 45 this month and I feel like sometimes I'm 60."
SOURCE: "Cash woes bruise health" 10/13/08
photo courtesy of Kugelfish, used under its Creative Commons license