Sunday, October 5, 2014

Only The Insured Can Afford Ebola

I've often wondered what it's going to take to wake people up, say, a bucket of ice water? While the ice bucket challenge for ALS seemed to catch on and create a life of it's own, I don't see anyone calling for a race for the cure for Ebola. There's no ribbon color designated that we can wear to show our support for it's victims.
What I saw was a dangerous and inept healthcare system in a country that boasts of having the finest healthcare in the world, releasing a contagious victim of Ebola into the general population. Then when the man is finally rushed to the hospital in a very serious condition, who is now critical, his family is quarantined and forced to share space with the aftereffects of their Ebola afflicted relative, exposing them to more danger. Naturally, there are no protocols as to who exactly is going to clean up the mess.
If Mr. Duncan could evade what ever hodge-podge system we've patched together to supposedly keep Ebola out of the US, it's probably more of an epic fail than we think, because there's probably more Duncans out there, or should I say, in here?
Obviously the biggest problem is that Duncan got into this country in the first place, but come on, what the hell is up with that Quack, er, doctor, or nurse not "fully communicating"? Not shocked, not at all.
 From what I've experienced, when it has come to my family members being hospitalized I saw so many mistakes, errors in judgement and outright neglect that I had to email ombudsmen and JAHCO, regarding the poor quality of care my father received in a teaching hospital, one of the supposed BEST  in the Philadelphia area. If that can happen to someone with the BEST healthcare insurance, in the best facility, what the hell happens to someone without any?
I guess maybe something like what happened to Mr. Duncan? 'Mistake' in how hospital handled U.S. Ebola case? -
 From what I can gather, our healthcare system has been in crises for a very long time. Probably due to resources being funneled into shareholders profits. What I see is such a breakdown of so many systems in this country, that it doesn't surprise me that maybe the idiot nurse or moron doctor didn't think that this man might be infected with Ebola risking an outbreak here in the US, but were they even held responsible in any way? I mean are they still employed? Because these people have no business doing what they are doing, who knows if they are even capable of flipping burgers?  I mean, did Mr. Duncan have an accent? Wouldn't you have picked up on that and at least ask where he's from or been a little curious? Then an equation of being from Africa + Ebola outbreak = Infected? It's not rocket science!  This is only a guess, but I am thinking Mr. Duncan had no health insurance, meaning here's your antibiotics, now stop wasting time and money and move along....then the other part of me thinks that Mr. Duncan knew he was exposed to Ebola and didn't have a tinkers chance in hell of surviving the illness in Liberia, judging from the victims he witnessed dying there. So he lied and "answered “no” to a question about whether he had had contact with any person who might have been stricken with Ebola" before getting on a plane, then admitted to the nurse in that ER that yes, "he did respond that he was in Liberia" This tells me a whole lot. I think he colluded with what ever family he had in Texas to high tail it out of Liberia and escape the conditions there and if on the chance he did contract Ebola, he'd be in a better place to survive it, what he didn't count on was the amount of stupid he'd encounter in that hospital. Then the best part? My favorite, Rick Perry! He's wearing some nerdy glasses, really makes him look more intellectual don't you think? "Texas is one of the few states certified by the CDC to conduct Ebola testing." You don't say?
However, that test might be very expensive. Something probably only the insured could afford.
When you have insurance, you can take advantage of every life saving screening your doctor can write a note for. Then you too can enjoy invasive procedures and false positives, leading to stress and pills and more painful procedures. Afterwards, you might be able to sigh with relief when they figure out all you went through was for nothing, because there wasn't anything wrong in the first place. Not so for people without insurance, they go without and they do without and for three days Mr. Duncan probably took his antibiotics to no avail, probably with the knowledge that he had Ebola and it was only a matter of time until his symptoms became serious enough to warrant a second try.
Even though Rick Perry tries to reassure us that Texas is prepared for this kind of virus, it seems to me that it's woefully unprepared and underfunded. Governor Perry has made sure that Texas has "the highest uninsured rate in the nation" So no, Rick Perry, it doesn't seem that Texas or maybe anywhere in the U.S. is a good place for any kind of illness if you are uninsured, like I wrote about previously, The Polygon: The Politics Of Ebola it will be these very people, that would be most likely to spread this disease. But still we will deny our citizens a national healthcare system. We do so at our own peril.


  1. Ironic that Perry should talk up CDC certification. A while back he threatened that his state would secede from the Union. Had Texas done so, they would have been out of the purview of the CDC.

  2. Don't mess with Texas. Does it even matter? It's like whatever protocols were in place were ignored or not even noticed.

  3. One of the many lessons of the Ebola crisis is that healthcare is too important to be left to companies out to make a buck. Insurance companies put so much pressure on doctors and nurses that they have to rush through patient exams to keep up.

    Natch, it's worse in Texas, where the governor colludes with private industry on a variety of critical matters.

    Yours crankily,
    The New York Crank