Monday, November 23, 2009

Dose of Reality: My Rogue Big Toe

Neil Davis' latest Dose of Reality confronts a cost-saving measure often touted by those who don't follow their thought through to its consequences:
One oft-repeated conservative mantra we hear nowadays is the one telling us that the road to health care reform requires each of us to take on more personal responsibility for our own health care. You have to read between the lines to get the intended message here: each of us needs to take care of our own—and nobody else’s—health care needs. In there also is the idea that we should not help raise overall health care costs by running off to the doctor with every little sniffle and ache.
Davis experienced the hidden ingrown toenail in this viewpoint: quite literally.
I suddenly found myself unable to walk and with severe pain that improved only slowly as I spent the next two days in the Intensive Care Unit of Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, and then, after being Medivaced to Anchorage, another nine days in the ICU of Providence Hospital.
Sometimes, it's best to let the experts deal with small things, before they turn into big expensive painful things. And since your average person doesn't have the training to recognize when a small thing can become dangerous, how can one distinguish between "taking responsibility" and "risking life and limb"?

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