Tuesday, October 16, 2012

For the Sake of Truth, Part 3: People Do Die from Lack of Insurance

Previously known as On the Offensive...I've been posting these on facebook, but decided to switch it over to my blog.

Fact:  On Wednesday October 10th, Mitt Romney said that people don't die from lack of health insurance.

"We don't have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don't have insurance. We don't have a setting across this country where if you don't have insurance, we just say to you, 'Tough luck, you're going to die when you have your heart attack.' No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it's paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital."

Fact: Absolutely correct. As a future physician, I am not going to turn a person away from medical care they need. So yes, if you show up to a hospital ER, you will get treatment.

Will it be preventative? By definition, no.

Will it be long-term? Be definition, "emergency," no. 

Will it be expensive? Yes. Not everyone that comes into the ER can pay their bills. That cost gets shifted on to the other patients by raising costs on their insurance companies (hence why a Tylenol pill costs $7 at the hospital). In turn, the insurance companies raise premiums on their customers. 

Fact: People do die because of lack of health insurance. If you have insurance, you are more likely to go to a doctor, to catch illnesses ahead of time, to treat them before it becomes out of control. Think: heart disease, diabetes...diseases that are prevalent in communities that are a part of poor communities that usually do not have health insurance. Tell them that not having health insurance does not lead to death, and a painful death.

Opinion: Gov. Romeny goes around saying people need to have "personal responsibility" for their actions. I agree, but do we punish someone so severely by taking away the quality of their life if they make the silly mistake of not purchasing health insurance, or worse, not being able to afford health insurance? No. We are a first world country. We are socially advanced. We are a nation that takes care of each other, especially when others can't take care of themselves. 

His comments are a hallmark of an individual who has not had any experience with or even taken the time to reflect on the condition of people who don't have health insurance. It's really hard to imagine it unless you really, really try, or see it and experience it first or second-hand. This is not an individual who should be making policy. 

Opinion Why does not expanding insurance matter as much to him? Because the people who need it the most are the 47% that are not important Americans to him--they will not vote for him anyways. 

Educate yourself before you vote. 

Death by Ideology -- Paul Krugman, NYTimes
A Possibly Fatal Mistake, Nicholas Kristof, NYTimes

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dill Butter and Salad Dressing

It's been a while blog, it's been a while. Apparently medical school is just as time-consuming as everybody made it out to be--shocker! Well, I was a little. I was surprised by how quickly the day goes by, how I will how generally choose studying over everything else, and how quickly time moves.

It's amazing...I've been in medical school for nearly 2 months and now (as of 10 minutes ago) taken an exam in every core subject that I have. It's a bit crazy to think about. I think I've been pretty good at maintaining my stress level, but this weekend threw me for a loop. It was weird, I lashed out at people I love more than I normally would, which made me feel terrible, which made me not happy, which made me study more furiously, which made me not want to study period.

It's a vicious cycle I tell you, vicious. But a learning experience nonetheless. It was important for me to once again realize that medical school was not life, it's just medical school. Yes, it's stressful, yeah, it's a lot of things to learn, but it's not the number one most important thing in the world.

However, my mental health, which largely depends on the happiness of those I love and my own sanity, is the most important thing in the world.

It's only going to get harder from this, so learning to stay calm, not lash out at those closest to me, and realizing again that hey, other people have stuff happening in their lives too. Whether it's objectively as hard as what I am doing doesn't matter, it's stuff, and it's important, because it's their stuff. So this is my note to myself to get over myself, and keep that calm that I've spent years, years, building. After all, it's just school.

Now...a recipe! So I've recently become a little enamored with dill. I use it in salad dressing, mix it into butter (courtesy of some great dill butter sandwiches from Sonali), mix it with olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper to make a pasta sauce...basically in anything.

But I don't have a ton of time to cook unfortunately, so my new obsession is the EarthBound Herb Puree. Sounds odd, but it's amazing, and it lasts a LONG time. Try it, and you'll love it--it'll jazz up any regular old salad dressing, oh hey, like the one below.

Dill Dressing

0.25 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. minced garlic
A squeeze of the dill puree (about 1 tbsp)
Salt and pepper to taste

**Optional: a splash of heavy cream or a small spoonful of sour cream or non-flavored yogurt to make it creamy**

Which all these things together and in a small bowl, and drizzle on top of salad, pasta, bread, or just use it to marinade veggies!