Election Outcome Brings Changes for Healthcare

November 6, 2008

Finally, the election cycle is over and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. History has been made.

Finally, the election cycle is over and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. History has been made. And I don’t know about you, but the whole ordeal has left me exhausted. Unfortunately, because I live in a red state, I’m subjected to a lot of whining about the outcome. Perhaps we can all begin to heal through Comedy Central’s election e-cards?

I have to remind myself and everyone else, though, that this is the beginning and not an end. Now comes the hard work — keeping our elected officials accountable, regardless of party affiliation. If I wasn’t aware of how much money was spent on campaigns, I’d go with the cliché that talk is cheap. I guess I need to stick with something more along the lines of let’s ensure politicians walk their talk.

Healthcare was a hot topic during the campaign, and we should keep it that way. If you haven’t already, get familiar with what President-elect Obama has said about healthcare reform here and here. Personally, I’m heartened that people seem to believe that the incoming administration will provide more financial support for SCHIP. It would be a start.

Another issue on the political landscape, the war in Iraq, has been pushed to the side somewhat due to the economic crisis. However, there have been several studies published recently that underscore the effect of the war on the health of veterans and military families, and healthcare advocates really can’t afford to let those issues slide. Not only are veterans plagued with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and military sexual trauma, but divorce rates among service members are high and a new study in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine indicates that parental deployment has a negative effect on behavior in young children, particularly between the age of 3 and 5 years. So let’s hope that we see some movement on that front with the new administration as well.

Not to change the subject, but did anyone notice the study linking high levels of precipitation to the prevalence of autism in that same issue of APAM? I almost choked on my sandwich when I saw that one.

And although this hasn’t been on top of the news heap for a while, I’m personally pulling for some changes in the FDA. The whole BPA issue has been overblown, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth, and there are a host of issues noted by the GAO that suggest the FDA needs a regulatory shot in the arm.

I’m sure there’s issues I missed. Fill us in here.