Cost and Healthcare
In a recent election, on a national debate stage, a political candidate declared that “no American has ever died for lack of health care”. It is true that hospitals are required by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), a federal law to stabilize and treat all patients, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. It is an unfunded mandate with hospital emergency rooms bearing the entire burden of the cost. Outside the boundaries of this act, un/underinsured patients surely do die for a lack of health care.
Have you or anyone you know been in this situation? How would someone feel if they were in a position where they could not afford treatment? In the movie, “John Q”, John Quincy Archibald’s son Michael collapses while playing baseball as a result of heart failure. John rushes Michael to a hospital emergency room where he is informed that Michael’s only hope is a transplant. Unfortunately, John’s insurance won’t cover his son’s transplant. Out of options, John Q. takes extreme measures to save his son. While a compelling film, it is certainly from one point of view and sensationalized. Health care professionals must always be tasked with seeing all points of view with objectivity.
Question the impact of being uninsured.
Include the following aspects in the discussion:
- Think of a time when you or someone you know did not seek medical care due to cost
- What was the result?
- Discuss if you would support paying more in taxes to have a national insurance program that covered every citizen
Is the U.S. Population Unhealthy?
Health-related behavior represents a prime target for improving the nation’s health. Today’s leading cases of disease and death are preventable chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and asthma), and behavioral risk factors play a critical role in their development and management. Obesity is common, serious and costly problem in the U.S. Obesity affected about 93.3 million of US adults in 2015~2016. Fast food consumption has been linked to higher caloric intake and greater risk for obesity. As an increasing number of consumers are dining at fast food restaurants, policy makers are turning their attention to environmental and policy approaches that influence consumer choice, including mandated calorie menu labels in fast food restaurants. The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act included a provision requiring restaurants with more than 20 locations nationwide to post calorie information at the point of purchase.
Watch the following video: Supersize me
Explore the effectiveness of healthy living education.
Include each of the following aspects in the discussion:
- Do you think the posting of calorie counts will change behavior when ordering food?
- Has it changed your behavior?
- Suggest education that might influence diet and food choices
- Discuss if insurance premiums and health care charges should reflect a person’s unhealthy life style