Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Health Care... Mom's View

As most moms of a child with a disability, I pray for the day when we can all access health care that will help our kids. It grieves me that a dear friend of mine has to choose what their medical care based on how much it costs. It shouldn't be that way.

I agree with a lot of people in that there needs to be some serious health care reform. I disagree with the hyped up media opinion that it needs to be a government sponsored or government ran health care.

My reasoning is not because of the costs and its not because of the threat of socialism, although those are good reasons. My reason is because of simply, look at everything else the government is in charge of...

Remember the trumped up charges on everyday equipment that the government was paying? $300 for a hammer?

The stimulus payout? Have you noticed job security? We haven't. Prices of groceries are still high. Gas is still high.

My biggest beef against the government running health care though?

The fact that the FDA does not have the time to protect us from toxic chemicals in our food.

I am sure you wonder what I am talking about... I must be one of those tree huggers that only eats all natural, organic, non-processed food. You would be wrong. We do try to avoid over-processed food, but I'm not June Cleaver. I don't work in the kitchen all day.

Let me share with you. Benji has ketotic hypoglycemia. His blood sugar will bottom out if we aren't careful about what he eats or drinks. With this he needs to stay away from artificial sweeteners, including High Fructose Corn Syrup. This was HIGHLY recommended by his endocrinologist. So... the last year or two I have been steering away from HFCS and saccharin and sucrose, etc... You can imagine the excitement when we found bread that touted the label HFCS free, all natural a month ago. Plus it was on sale.

There was two ingredients in that bread that didn't look familiar, DATEM and azodicarbonamide. But I figured for the label to say it was natural it would be. Plus I was already tired that day so we got it.

The next day we had pb&j's for lunch and the bread was absolutely delicious. But about 30 minutes after lunch we noticed Benji was acting very hyper and out of control. This is a typical red 40 reaction with him. I rechecked the bread label because I had made the lemonade and the jelly. I knew they didn't have anything bad in it. Those two chemicals popped out at me but I shrugged it off.

The following day we had the same lunch. Benji was still acting as if he was over stimulated but I figured he was getting tired, we had played outside that morning. This time after lunch to add to the hyper activity, he got very emotional. Fussy, hyper and demanding... more like an overstimulated toddler than a 4 yo. So, I decided to look up these two chemicals.

DATEM ~ Diacetyl Tartaric (Acid) Ester of Monoglyceride it is used as an emulsifier that helps delay the staling of bread.

azodicarbonamide ~or azobisformamide, is an organic chemical, C2H4O2N4. It is a yellow to orange red, odorless, crystalline powder. It is known as E number E927.

In several articles across the internet it is stated that ADA is banned in Australia, I have not found proof of this. It is also said that in the UK, ADA has a warning label of May cause sensitization by inhalation, meaning it can cause or worsen asthma.

If you read the Azodicarbonamide (CICADS) you will see that it mentions in the UK it is no longer permitted to be used in food.
"Azodicarbonamide has in the past been used in the United Kingdom
and Eire (but not other European Union member states) as a flour
improver in the bread-making industry, but this use is no longer
permitted. It is not known how common this practice is worldwide.
Azodicarbonamide is not used in other consumer products."


According to the article in Wikipedia, this chemical can cause similar reactions that food dyes does. Not to mention that this chemical is used to make things such as shoes, window gaskets, exercise mats, etc.

An interesting article Azodicarbonamide: Another reason to avoid most bread

I highly encourage you to read the last article...

All of this is said to get you to think. Our government allows the usage of known toxic chemicals in food. These chemicals cause some of the health issues going on. Benji's sensory integration and focusing abilities highly depend on what he has eaten. Give the kid something with food coloring, especially red 40, and he's a super bounce ball.

But we want this same government to run our health care?

Put limits on malpractice lawsuits. Have it so that how much the doctors change people with insurance vs people without be the same, and lower it to a reasonable price. It shouldn't cost $150-$200 for a well checkup. Enforce the laws that are there. Prevent prescription fraud by having to see a photo ID of the patient or their insurance card. Prosecute the doctor for helping the patient commit fraud. Require screening of newborns that includes the pulse-ox to help catch medical conditions quicker.

I am concerned if we convert to the Health Care program that is being pushed right now. It would mean that when my son has to have his aortic valve repaired that he might not be able to if the government doesn't want to okay it. Or if he gets that surgery if he needs another later on down the road he's already met is lifetime limit. But the biggest thing? If this HealthCare program is so good? Then President Obama needs to sign himself up on it instead of taking the existing care he and his family get now. All of the politicians that are saying this is the way to go, should be more than willing to drop the insurance coverage they have for being a politician in Washington and take the same healthcare they are pushing on us.

Fix the problem, don't create a new one.

Leaving with a little tidbit. Benji's older sister has asthma. The medication she has to have to prevent her from having asthma attacks is not covered by medicaid. We are fortunate that our private insurance covers all but $25. What will happen if the Healthcare reform bill is passed? Will they say "since she's not been hospitalized, we don't need to cover the medication."?
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