Friday, June 19, 2009

Will it pass?

The Obama health care reform situation is ongoing, and though I don't read every single article that comes out on the subject, I am waiting anxiously to find out what will happen.

A new article reports a step in the right direction:

Trying to regain momentum on a core issue of Barack Obama's presidency, House Democrats on Friday unveiled legislation they said would cover virtually all the nearly 50 million uninsured Americans. Major provisions of the draft bill would impose new responsibilities on individuals and employers to get coverage, end insurance company practices that deny coverage to the sick and create a new government-sponsored plan to compete with private companies.

I especially like the part where it says the plan will "end insurance company practices that deny coverage to the sick." That is a BIG deal to me, since health insurance companies can and do refuse to cover a diabetic under an individual plan.

The article also talks about whether the program is something we can afford to implement. Me personally, this is one piece of legislation that I'd be quite happy to pay higher taxes for. Heck yeah, I'll pay higher taxes in order to make sure I can always get health insurance!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

President Obama's health care reform

Lately there have been many headlines about President Obama's plans for health care reform. I admittedly haven't been following it very closely, but I've been noting the headlines. I'm glad he is pursuing this issue already, as I think it is very important for our nation's future that we rein in health care expenses and provide insurance to those who can't afford it.

There are a couple of important points that Obama is making that I personally support wholeheartedly.

The president promised that with his health care overhaul "if you like your doctor you'll be able to keep your doctor, if you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan."

"We're not going to make you change," he said.

And the other:

"Every plan should include an affordable, basic benefits package," he said. "And if you can't afford one of these we should give you assistance."

I think these are the elements to a strong health care system that protects all of our nation's citizens: allowing those who can keep their own plans, and to assist those who can't. Certainly, if I can afford to get a plan that provides me better coverage, there's no reason why I should be denied that. But if I can't afford health care, there's also no reason why I should die simply because I was unlucky enough to be born with the genes for a potentially lethal autoimmune disease.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Self-treatment requires flexibility

As a type 1 diabetic, a lot of your treatment is actually in your own hands. YOU are the one who lives with your diabetes, so technically you are more qualified to make small, daily adjustments in your insulin regimen than your doctor.

For example, since my doctor's appointment on Friday I've been pushing lows. Actually, it technically started last week, and I dropped my Lantus dose a bit then. Now I've had to drop it again.

My point is, as a type 1 diabetic you have to be able to recognize when your insulin regimen needs to be changed. You are the one checking your blood sugar every day, so you are the one who is most likely to notice trends in the numbers. And if you are constantly crashing or constantly going high, you are the one who will need to make a decision about your insulin doses. You can't wait until the next time you see the doctor, particularly if you are dealing with a lot of lows.

I'm happy to say that so far, my adjusted Lantus dose seems to be doing the trick. I didn't have any major lows or major highs today. It remains to be seen whether I'll be staying on this dose long-term or not — it's 2 units lower than what I take 99 percent of the time, and drops like this one are usually pretty temporary. But when my insulin needs go up again, I'll be watching for the signs!