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Friday, January 11, 2008

Parity

I am an advocate for Insurance Parity. For some crazy reason some folks with brain disorders and mental illnesses have to pay more for the treatment of their diseases than for other organic illnesses. Of course, I am referring to the insured and the under-insured. The 40 million or so Americans without health insurance are just plain screwed.

I admit that though we have recently seen a push in the Congress and in Michigan for Insurance Parity, I haven't read that anything has been done. I haven't been informed that the 50% co-pay for psychiatric services has changed. At least, I do have prescription coverage for all of the medications that the "pdoc" wants me to use to live a more stable life..... in the U.S.

Staying on my meds while living in Mexico has been difficult. There doesn't seem to be a way for me to retrieve my U.S. medications without traveling to the States. My medications, if available, are expensive here. I can not obtain one of my blood pressure medications and have had to create a substitute heart cocktail. That really sucks.

Accepting the fact that I have an organic brain disease that has been with me for my entire life has been relatively easy. Accepting the fact that my heart doesn't quite work the way it should is taking me a bit longer to accept. I have had at least 3 cardiac stress tests, numerous EKG tests, and 3 sonar studies. Not one doctor has ever given me an explanation for my supraventricular tachycardia or high blood pressure.

Anyway, I came across a report on Reuters with these conclusions:

Major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, as well as elevated scores on the depression and anxiety tests all increased the risk of a major coronary event. Of these, major depressive disorder was the strongest factor, increasing the risk by 2.85-fold. No additive effect was seen; patients with both major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder had roughly the same risk of suffering a major coronary event as patients with just one of the disorders.

"Now that we know that both generalized anxiety disorder and major depression are markers of increased cardiac risk, it is imperative that these patients receive the best evidence-based treatment for both their cardiac and psychiatric conditions," Frasure-Smith emphasized.

"Extra efforts are justified in helping them change their cardiac risk factors, assure treatment compliance, and improve their emotional and social functioning," she added.

The doctors' maxim that you must "treat the whole person" comes to mind. And what will those idiots in Lansing and Washington, D.C. do? I won't be holding my breath, at least not at this altitude....

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