Thursday, September 03, 2009

healthcare debate Multiple Sclerosis

“I know someone who has Multiple Sclerosis!” Likely not John and Jane Doe, more likely “I know someone who knows someone who knows …”

Approximately 400,000 people in the US are diagnosed with MS, a prevalence rate of 1 in 700. … Numbers can blur so let’s try to conjure that up as a visual.

Take 9 US football fields and place them in a line end to end. Start positioning people side by side an arm’s length apart in a line across those fields. Once our line of people stretches across all 9 fields we will have 700 people. ONE of them will likely have Multiple Sclerosis.

Prevalence too often invites “what does this have to do with me?” in our current national debate over health care reform.

I worry that chronic illness in general is being painted in a bull’s-eye? CDC reports “people with chronic diseases account for more than 75% of the nation’s $2 trillion medical care costs.” NIH “estimates place the annual cost of MS in the United States in the billions of dollars.”

For those living with any chronic health issue this is nothing new. A national reform of health care was LONG overdue.

11 years ago Duke University reported MS costly to the “individual, health care system and society” with a “conservative estimate” of the national annual cost of Multiple Sclerosis at $6.8 billion.” … Of course in 1998, we the people and our elected representatives were obsessed with the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. Status quo health care won by default.

Has the status quo been successful? … Back in 1998 total national spending for health care was $1.1 trillion; in 2008 it more than doubled to $2.4 trillion.

Back then we were easily distracted by a sex scandal, now we are so intense about it that I read someone bit off another person’s finger while arguing at a health care reform rally in California.

I am beginning to wonder what the prevalence of public sanity is the United States?

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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musings: Patrick Ponders ...


  1. there is no public sanity here any more, Patrick; sad to say. we Americans aren't working together but against each other and patients/families like you and Patti and multiple others are being impacted with the uncertainty of possible reduction in services, etc. I see no solution to the madness and no resolve of any healthcare forum; I do see more violence and unrest as a result of it though......


  2. Patrick, thank you for finding my blog and leading me to yours. I will definitely be back.



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