As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts (not like there are that many to begin with), I don't know a heck of a lot about economics. What I do know a little bit about is health care, since that's the work that I do. In particular, I know about health care in a relatively underserved community that's rife with economic problems. And so one of the issues I will probably return to over and over and over is the need for universal health care. Of all the goals Obama set for his administration, I have the highest hopes for this one. (Also that he will gather up all the tattered pieces of the Constitution, paste them back together, and remind America that it's good to have a leader that actually knows the value of its founding principles.)

Every so often (and, sadly, not nearly as rarely as I would wish) I have patients (or, more accurately, their parents) who are faced with the reality that they cannot pay for medication. Most of the time I prescribe generic medications, or the pharmacies substitute them, and this works for most people. (Sadly, the relatively low prices of many generics still price them out of some of my patients' range.) However, there are some medications that are simply not currently available in generic form. One such category is long-acting ADHD medication, which I'm kind of reluctant to mention, if only because ADHD is a rather polarizing diagnosis. Regardless, the medication is of genuine help to a lot of kids, and the monthly tag generally exceeds $100 for those with no insurance. I dread thinking what kind of sacrifices some parents have to make to scrape up the cash so their kids can succeed in school.

So consider this my introductory post on a subject to which I intend to return with some regularity. That health care, inarguable a necessity, is still unaffordable in the United States is immoral, and we have an obligation to demand change on this issue.


  1. How far away is Canada from your place? It might sound crazy but can't some of your patients hop across the border for their meds? I know that is not the case for people in the lower states. Beyond that, doesn't Maine have an S-Chip? I always thought Maine was a progressive state. Pa. does. When I go home in the summer during school break my kids are automatically covered by Pa. S-Chip. My wife and I aren't which is a problem but I do like to go home for a visit.

  2. why is it everytime I come here the format changes? you should try format #27 A_R
    I think you would like it.

  3. You must have logged in just as I was messing with blogger! We're in the larval stage -- once we nail down the design and proclaim ourselves butterflies, the site will stay stable (ditto for bleakonomy.com).

    Meantime, thanks for the format suggestion :)

  4. Our practice is about five hours away from Canada, so it's not practical to drive that far. Maine is relatively progressive, but many families fall on the line where they are not poor enough for Mainecare. The state is also facing a terrible budget crisis, and federal funding has (to my understanding) been cut; I think this is of a piece with Bush's S-CHIP expansion veto. This has also had implications regarding vaccines, which I will get to in another post.