The Uninsured Patient

3 Quarks Daily has an interesting report of a man who came close to death due to, in the author’s opinion, failure to medicate properly because of lack of insurance. He was poor but not poor enough to receive Medicaid. He was obese, had type 2 diabetes and without health insurance was attempting to manage his condition through diet instead of meds.

By the time he arrived into the author’s care, he was close to death caused by internal bleeding.

If JD could have afforded it, he would have seen a primary care doctor and controlled his diabetes. If JD had cared, he would have not grown to a mammoth size; his callous eating behavior and the inefficient health system had landed him in this intensive expensive care, which could have been avoided by spending much less on prevention.

Callous eating behavior. Nice touch.

The story is damning of the health care system but I was struck by the author’s ability to give JD a good punch in the gut as well. The automatic assumption that obesity is due to a personality failure is so pervasive that even a trained medical professional with no knowledge of a patient’s eating history will assume it and publicly denounce him for it.

The road to changing the “paradigm” on how we view obesity is certainly a long and slow one.

3 Quarks Daily: The Uninsured Patient

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