In cities and suburbs across America, we are seeing the dire consequences of increases in opioid use, and national leaders are clamoring for answers. Addiction does not differentiate between the young or old, black or white, working class or white-collar professional.
Women of all colors have historically faced discriminatory practices by health insurers and racial and ethnic minorities have suffered disproportionately from health disparities.
Addiction is truly a brain disease and not simply a behavior that someone can stop automatically. It is neurochemically driven, and not due to “moral weakness” or lack of “will power.” Unfortunately, it is one of the few chronic diseases where normally caring health care providers treat patients poorly because of misguided notions like “it’s their own fault, they should just stop using drugs.”
Since the health of each member in any community is a collective responsibility of the community as a whole, I’d like to propose an idea that should not be audacious at all: to be a responsible community, our country needs to join the rest of the developed world in establishing a health care system where routine access to appropriate medical care for every member is not only a possibility, but a certainty.
Why not design an exchange that actually controls health care costs?
In 1982, Betty Ford founded the nation’s first licensed addiction hospital, the Betty Ford Center, saying publicly about her own addiction at the time, “This is not a lack of willpower; this is a disease.” Nearly 30 years later, the medical world finally seems to be putting that revolutionary view into practice. In July, 10 […]
Editor’s note: Karen Davenport will be at OSI-Baltimore for a forum, Keeping Up with Changes in Health Reform: Health Insurance Exchanges in Maryland, on Thursday, July 21st. Early last week, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued draft regulations on health insurance exchanges—the new health insurance marketplaces, established under the health care reform […]
National health care reform is far from perfect. But, for better or worse, life affords all of us the opportunity to turn life’s lemons into lemonade. If Maryland officials keep patient’s health and well-being at the forefront, federal health care reform implementation could provide decent coverage to a large group of previously uninsured residents. Yes, […]
My automobile’s engine was sputtering. The mechanic called to report that it had been repaired; however, a glance under the hood revealed that the engine had been expanded with more cylinders and carburetors, but still ran raggedly. “It would have been cheaper to replace it, but we wouldn’t have made as much profit.” The Patient […]
Few things would be more audacious than for everyone in Baltimore City to have quality, affordable health care, including full access to prevention and treatment for addictions. This would surely help the tens of thousands of Baltimore residents who have no health care coverage and suffer physically, emotionally, and financially as a result. It would […]