Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Facing the Unknown

The health care debate seems to be full of unknowns these days. As the arguments over health care reform heat up to the boiling point, the notion of a government-run program raises the hackles of so many people across the spectrum, and cries of socialism are heard across the land. Will our care be rationed? Will grandma be left to die when a bureaucrat decides that she has reached her life expectancy and her surgery is not cost effective based on her age? Misrepresentation and misinformation abounds.

Meanwhile, H1N1 challenges the public health infrastructure, and the availability and distribution of the vaccine poses questions that still cannot be fully answered. And as the manufacturing of that new vaccine is ramped up, seasonal flu vaccine distribution has been slowed to a veritable trickle, confounding the plans of even the most earnest local health department.

Speaking of H1N1, studies now show that many pregnant women and others eligible for the H1N1 vaccine will refuse to receive it, leaving public health officials wondering just who will want it, anyway? In our local circles, many of us are asking the following question: "If we throw an H1N1 party, will anyone come?"

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