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Public Health July 24, 2006

Posted by gordonwatts in life.

Forgive me if I reveal my elitist, sheltered, upbringing for a second here. I’m a faculty brat: both my parents are professors; I’ve been extremely lucky and never had to worry about getting food onto the table or, even, heath insurance. I’m used to going to the doctor I want to visit as my health plan will almost always pay. I’ve not had to deal with any clinics with long lines, or even with county health organizations. Indeed, I’ve always thought that, even though some of my taxes (happily) go to support those health organizations, I would never need to use them because I had access to my personal health service.

Yeah. So I’m an idiot.

Seattle has this awesome program, sponsored by public health (and taxpayer dollars, like my own). They will send nurses out to visit you in home. In our particular case the reason was to make sure that Julia had started gaining weight. The 10% post-birth weight loss is a red line that doctors really don’t want your baby to cross. Instead of having us drive in for a doctor’s office visit (which is a major operation now), they had a RN come out and visit us. The actual operation of weighing Julia takes all of 5 minutes – instead of about 2 hours when we went in to visit the doctor. On the other hand, sitting and talking with us for about 30 minutes and answering the 1000 questions we had. That was priceless.

I’m really happy Seattle has this public health operation, and I’m really happy that it is something that we can take advantage of!



1. Tanya - October 11, 2007

It sounds like the Seattle authorities have got some good ideas there. I wish the clowns running things down here in Sydney would take note of what’s happening there.

2. Stacy Kubach - October 12, 2007

Hummmm that sounds awesome. On the surface I love the sound of health services like this. There are a gazillion needs to be met like this all over the US, not to speak of the World.

I’m always cautious though about who offers services of this nature and who pays for it.

It’s great that Seattle offers this service for example, but the US government should not offer it. It’s great that my state of Nebraska may offer it, but the US government shouldn’t. According to the 9th and 10th amendments, they don’t have the authority to offer it. Please don’t get me wrong…if any state of the US or any city within the US offers services like this, more power to them.

Thank you for posting this. It was encouraging to see your honesty about your upbringing and all.


3. gordonwatts - October 12, 2007

Stacy — I disagree — those two amendments don’t say anything about this. This is a program — like medicare or similar — there is nothing in the constitution that allows or disallows that.

The USA mortality rate is not what it should be, as compared to other western contries (I think we are sitting at 6 per 1000, france/spain are both at 4). Now, of course, I’ve not applied science here: I don’t know exactly what the differences is. A medical expert would probably and would be able to tell us where to spend the money for the most effect (as long as politics doesn’t get in the way).

In general, our medical insurance system is awful. For people like me it is great – I make money and my job has a good insurance plan – but not for many Americans.

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