Tuesday, October 6, 2015
So, we are studying the endocrine chapter and I had the opportunity to refresh my knowledge about diabetes. I've railed about this for years here, and the typical response is along the lines of, "Yeah, people need to quit stuffing their pie holes". This is more of the same I guess, but I really would like a response about why my outlook is wrong. I think this link is worth taking a look at http://www.diabetes.org/advocacy/news-events/cost-of-diabetes.html
I've made a point before that I think it is ridiculous for men to bitch about paying for contraception in light of how much we spend on diabetes. The link above and this graphic AND my time spent in clinical this past year have further cemented my beliefs. I found another link here that I also think is kind of interesting http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/03/the-fiscal-conservatives-case-for-spending-more-money-on-birth-control/254442/
As I have learned from my textbook, 90% of all diabetics in the US are Type II diabetics. In the case of Type I diabetics, who are unable to make insulin, there is really nothing they can do about it. The cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed and they are dependent on insulin for the rest of their life. In the case of Type II diabetics, there is a strong genetic component, however, there is also a lot that an individual can do to either stave off the disease, or stave off complications. In the past year, I have taken care of several patients who, after receiving a diagnosis of diabetes, promptly went on a diet, increased their exercise, and were off of medication within six months. Some other patients, on the other hand, who also seem to hate Obamacare, have gone in precisely the other direction and are on not only medication for diabetes, but are also on medication for cholesterol (note, not because of genetics) and are also on blood pressure medication. All of which are subsidized by private insurance or government funded insurance. In short, I am not only subsidizing their unhealthy lifestyle by paying for their medicine, I am also enabling their behavior because I will be able to prescribe medication for them.
Philosophically, I just cannot see any difference in the position of people who bitch about paying for someone to have risk free sex and my view that paying for diabetes like we do enables a set of behaviors that are equally gluttonous and void of personal responsibility. If conservative men have legitimate reason to complain about paying for a lifestyle they don't approve of regarding contraception, can they really be taken seriously. According to that article, 62.4% of the cost of diabetes is paid for by government insurance. Shouldn't we have the exact same gripe about diabetics? What about smokers?