Healthcare Costs – How We Turn Molehills into Mountains

I live in this body and know it well. I know how far I can push it, when it needs a tune-up, and when I need to park it for a few days.

I am fully qualified to take my own temperature, monitor my energy and pain levels, and know when dragging my sick self to work will have a negative affect on my health, my work, and/or my co-workers. I know how to treat most conditions, that many have no treatment and must run their own course, and when I’m in over my head and need a doctor’s assistance.

I also know my doctor trusts my judgment and does not want me in his office exposing him, his staff, and his other patients to the flu or a virus. Nor does he want the patients who need him that day to wait in line behind me because I’ve called with an emergency that only exits in my employer’s imagination or suspicion.

Yet employers demand validation from doctors before excusing medical absences, and few employees question the legality of this request, or the unethical abuse to the healthcare system and cost. These unnecessary doctor or emergency room visits not only drive up the cost of healthcare and spread disease, they also delay recovery of conditions that require rest (most), and cause undo stress for patients with conditions that require immediate access to the toilet (many of the common ones).

After seeing how willing Americans were to abuse the healthcare system at the employers’ request, our school system joined the cause. If we can’t trust adults to know when they are sick, how could we possibly allow them to determine when their children would be better off at home?

This one turned into a crime. Parents are arrested for keeping a sick child at home without a doctor’s note. Tough luck to those who don’t have insurance or money to pay for an unnecessary visit to the doctor, and who can’t get into the overcrowded clinics; the children will be better off with their poor parent in jail.

The underlying psychological surrender of freethinking and personal accountability in our society makes the individuals who fail to question these practices as guilty of destroying their own system as the corporations and systems are. We must question inappropriate use of authority in order to protect the things we need, like affordable health care. Refusing to see doctors unnecessarily is one small way we can do that.

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