Monthly Archives: September 2011

Seeking taxpayer support when a diagnosis lacks credibility

Today’s WSJ detailed the obstacles and costs to school districts in educating disabled children, particularly when those children can’t make it into school; http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904103404576558730329067142.html?KEYWORDS=cHRONIC+FATIGUE+SYNDROME.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS, is gaining attention as diagnosis of this mystery disease climbs.   At the core of such mystery is no specific origin/etiology, and the symptoms are largely self-reported.   According to accounts, the common symptom to these patients is pervasive and debilitating exhaustion.  This is also key to individuals stricken with Celiac Disease, Lyme, Mono, Anemia, depression, an undetected ruptured or leaking appendix, and a host of other diseases and allergies.   The article is silent as to whether any of these were explored or if patients ever kept a journal of each and every thing, and prescription, they ingested.

Tax payers are skeptical and they are right to be; numerous recent reports allege that the diagnosis of Autism has become so over-used, and its incidence exaggerated, that the definition is being revised to a narrow set of behaviors to make diagnosis more reliable.

While parents of children with disabilities must be vigilant in advocating for their child,  this article focused on only that struggle, giving little clue, or evidentiary support  as to how this child arrived in her state, for how long, or what specialists, aside from a Special Education lawyer, were consulted to improve the quality of her life, not merely her district’s educational obligation.  Without chronicling such events, the diagnosis lacks credibility and tax payer support, as indicated by the overwhelmingly negative comments it generated- reader interpretation:  districts, and taxpayers are being forced to cater to students who just don’t want to be in school.

 

Job-crushing health care bill? You betcha

“Job crushing health care bill” how many times have we heard that phrase this year?  Almost as often as ‘flash floods’.  Upon closer examination beyond the political sound bite,  I am finding out how true that really is, particularly for the nation’s largest employer base: small businesses.   As a small, o.k. miniscule, business, I can’t afford to offer health insurance for full time employees.  Perhaps I could if my state, NY, didn’t require my plan to cover alcohol abuse treatment, drug treatment, obesity treatment, and yes, sex addiction treatment.   In our PC world, these are now ‘diseases’. Never mind that with such abuses comes lack of productivity, and unreliability, but I am also unable replace the addicted staff without inviting a law suit, so I can’t hire other employees, and I must ensure  my insurance premiums cover their treatment.

Benefits can eat up compensation and I’m sure any college grad would tell you she’d prefer higher pay rather than comprehensive health benefits, and it is this freedom that led the courts to reject the president’s compulsory insurance coverage.   Given a choice  she may opt for coverage if it didn’t include the expenses of care she won’t need nor seek.  On the bright side, it is likely much of this health care bill will be overturned, however, I fear the damage may already be done; rising numbers of employers continue to announce they will not offer insurance in 2014.

Further, without reform to social security to prevent abusive disability claims, and tort reform to protect businesses from frivolous law suits, there is little upside to hiring stateside.   Outsourcing overseas means I am free from a drug addled transgendered, cross-dressing employee claiming I discriminated against him because of his attire, lifestyle, gender/non-gender, or  cocaine-residue white mustache.   Abuse-inviting policies like these are the biggest threat to job creation, currently ignored by candidates on both sides of the aisle.   Until reforms are accomplished in every agency, and discipline that affects health, the too few will be saddled with paying for the too many, and health care for our population will be  unsustainable.