Do the Math

While I was travelling, I overheard a media report that dermatologists suggest that every American have a yearly dermatological exam to catch skin cancer in its earliest stages.

Meanwhile, over at Ignosi et Quasi Occulti, Kevin considers the likelihood of getting a yearly exam for his general health, and it just doesn’t add up. We’ve heard comparable stories from Jeneane and Chris and probably other people, too. If Kevin can’t afford a basic health care check-up, what does the recommendation of yearly dermatological check-ups imply? When will the sleeping giant of the U.S. health-care mess wake up?

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Are you familiar with the Healthy Illinois Act (SB 11)? It is a statewide campaign and legislative proposal that would significantly expand access to quality, affordable health insurance in Illinois. Granted this is not a solution to the world health care crisis, let alone to a national health care crisis, but it is a start.

    Currently there are about 2 million Illinois residents without health insurance, only 48% of small businesses offer health insurance to their employees, and premiums have increased 11% in 2004 (five times faster than inflation).

    The Healthy Illinois Act proposes to increase access to health care through a voluntary insurance plan for small businesses, self-employed people and individuals to join; to improve quality by covering preventive care; and to lower costs by reducing uncompensated care (i.e., the care that increases premiums for those who are insured). The Healthy Illinois Act is far from perfect, but as Brent Adams, Policy Director for Citizen Action/Illinois, so eloquently pointed out, our choices are “business as usual” or “Healthy Illinois” – i.e., there is no perfect option. The idealist in me likes to imagine that a perfect option does, in fact, exist; but, even I must confess, this option is a far cry better than “business as usual.”

    I attended a Town Hall meeting in Des Plaines last night and listened to several testimonials from individuals and small business owners. I was delighted to see that Representative Rosemary Mulligan (R-65), Senator Susan Garrett (D-29), and Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-57) were in attendance and agreed to ongoing discussions with the Healthy Illinois coalition (Citizen Action/Illinois; United Power for Action and Justice; and Illinois for Health Care).

    Any one interested in learning more about the Healthy Illinois Plan should check out their website. If you are a resident of Illinois, considering adding your name to the endorsement and/or writing a letter to your state representatives.

  2. When will the sleeping giant of the U.S. health-care mess wake up?

    I’m not sure what you’re implying here, but I’d be very interested in the experience of a Canadian or Brit requesting a routine annual dermatological checkup… In countries where non-emergency surgery can require a wait of a year or more…

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