I went to the Town Hall Meeting in Florence today organized by Congressman Peter DeFazio. The meeting was informative and Mr. DeFazio spent time with each person who asked a question. I learned a lot about issues that aren't necessarily important to me. I also heard a lot of questions concerning infrastructure concerns and health care and the status of medicare and medicaid. In response to one person's question concerning feedback on what's happening in health care now that the plan has started to be implemented, Mr. DeFazio gave a personal story from a small business owner in Eugene who was happy with insurance coverage that supported colostomies because this is now considered "preventative" health care. In light of my previous blog about Breast Feeding and Health Care, I spoke to Mr. DeFazio about this after the meeting.
I told Mr. DeFazio that I disagreed with the labeling of the colostomy as preventative; I think it is diagnostic. Mr. DeFazio then countered that the labeling of preventative came from the fact that by catching cancer early, the medical industry saved tremendous amounts of money in costly cancer treatments and the money trickled down to consumers of insurance. I don't disagree, but I pointed out to him that I thought the category of the health care plan regarding breast feeding for infants should be treated the same way. The best way to begin to take care of rising health care costs is to stop illnesses before they begin by promoting a strong immune system. It is health care that is free and doesn't put a burden on anyone except the individual, which is where I think we should begin.
I spoke about the hospitals in New York attempting to deny formula to healthy mothers in an effort to enforce breast feeding. I posed the question, "If the government can force me to purchase insurance to cover treatment I don't believe in, why can't they force healthy mothers to breast feed when there is so much evidence about the benefits to both child and mother?" Mr. DeFazio said that this law infringes upon how a person uses their body. I don't see the difference. Mr. DeFazio did indicate that he had supported an amendment to the health care plan that would have required people choosing not to have colostomies sign a waiver against any future problems, but that was defeated. I would gladly sign a waiver since I choose not to have colostomies or any other diagnostic "preventative" measures. The thought occurred to me after our conversation. Why not propose an addendum to the current health care law that would require those of us who choose alternative methods of health care, whether it be bottle feeding, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, gluttony or refusal of standard "preventative" medical treatments to sign a waiver freeing the insurance companies of responsibility for payments for our treatment.? Another modest proposal that is ignored.