The Neon Wilderness

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Class Matters
Article in NYT that got my blood boiling, apparently West Virginia along with a handful of other states has started a program that "rewards" patients in the states Medicaid (health care for the poor) program who are responsible with extra benefits and goodies, such as medicine and mental health counseling, I'm serious, okay so the way it works is this, West Virginia in an effort to save money on health care costs has instituted a new policy for the states Medicaid recipients, basically anyone on Medicaid
"will be asked to sign a pledge “to do my best to stay healthy,” to attend “health improvement programs as directed,” to have routine checkups and screenings, to keep appointments, to take medicine as prescribed and to go to emergency rooms only for real emergencies"
In terms of what happens if you do or do not sign the pledge and follow the guidelines
"Those signing and abiding by the agreement (or their children, who account for a majority of Medicaid patients here) will receive “enhanced benefits” including mental health counseling, long-term diabetes management and cardiac rehabilitation, and prescription drugs and home health visits as needed, as well as antismoking and antiobesity classes. Those who do not sign will get federally required basic services but be limited to four prescriptions a month, for example, and will not receive the other enhanced benefits...In future years, those who comply fully will get further benefits (“like a Marriott rewards plan,” Ms. Atkins said), their nature to be determined but perhaps including orthodontics or other dental services."
I'm serious.

Soulless, morally reprehensible, medically unethical, godless, and just plain evil.
The legislators in West Virginia, and all those that helped push through this law and supported it and those like it across the country should all be ashamed, they should be so ashamed. I mean really what the fuck is wrong with these people? who thinks this is a good idea? who thinks denying medication to the poor is a good thing?, or that dental services and diabetes treatment are a special perk? these are people, these are human beings, how dare you. Treating the poor like dogs, telling the that they have to sign a pledge promising to not skip appointments, to follow the rules, to be healthy... basically i guess saying that poor people are irresponsible, lazy, and stupid, that they need to be forced to act as adults, that they need to be treated as if they were children. And then if a person has a little to much pride, dignity, or independence to sign this bullshit pledge you punish them? you deprive them of medication, mental health counseling, dental care etc? are you serious, so basically medical care is less of a an essential human right and more of a carrot in which to dangle in front of the donkey, more of a privilege, less of a right. If a wall street banker is 300 lbs and smokes, it doesn't matter, he has great medical care, the best, if a poor person is 300 lbs and smokes, he is scolded and lectured like a poorly behaved child, and then denied medical care.
Someone once said something to the effect that a society can best be judged by how it treats it's neediest citizens. What do you think this program and those like it say about America?, about all of us, about me, about you?
NYT "Medicaid Plan Prods Patients Toward Health"
NYT "Pay For Good Behavior?"

"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people." -Martin Luther King Jr.

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