Essential Health Benefits: Pablum for the Masses

I am having entirely too much fun with the Affordable Care Act. The next item I would like to review is the list of Essential Health Benefits. I have entitled the posting “Pablum for the Masses.”

Pablum is an entendre on several levels: it means bland or insipid, which this Act most certainly is. It is a bland soft cereal for infants, and our government is certainly treating its citizens as infants by the passage of the act. Finally, it may mean simplistic writing, speech, or conceptualization, and the act is simplistic to the point of absurdity. [Read more…]

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Affordable Health Care

Our Declaration of Independence contains the much quoted phrase, “We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This sentence was originally written by Thomas Jefferson in the first draft of the Declaration of Independence. “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” survived the editing process and was ratified by Congress.

Try as I might, I am unable to find a constitutional right to affordable healthcare. Nowhere do I find an explicit right to health care. The Supreme Court has never interpreted the Constitution as guaranteeing a right to health care services from the government. And interestingly enough, the Supreme Court has held that the government has an obligation to provide medical care for prisoners. I leave you to draw your own conclusions. [Read more…]

Advance Directive for Health Care

When difficulty comes, we need an action plan, but for many planning doesn’t begin until the bell begins to toll. One of the things we can do in advance is prepare for the future when it comes to our parents’ care and especially if they end up in hospice care. Even now, when we enter the hospital for minor surgery, we are asked to provide an Advance Directive for Health Care. For some this a scary document but it doesn’t have to be. One client asked me to explain this document to her since her mother had just been placed under hospice care.

Several years ago my own mother was admitted to hospice care. The support they offered to her and our family was invaluable. This type of document is a part of the process and is provided for the patient to have input in his or her final healthcare.

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