American Public Media, the people who bring us public radio programs, are very smart. They not only have some very cool ideas, but they also know how to implement them. The latest is something called the Health Care Idea Generator, an "online activity that allows the public to share ideas and solutions regarding America's health care system."
Go check it out.
It's a sort of interactive "think tank" where "ideas ranging from small improvements to sweeping overhauls can be entered and discussed." There are special tabs to identify yourself as a Caregiver, Insurer, Employer, Uninsured or Insured patient. But you can also just be any old slob with a suggestion about how to make health care better. Here's the pitch:
"It's widely accepted that the American health care system is broken. But depending where you find yourself within the system, 'broken' can mean different things to different people. The Health Care Idea Generator asks ...'What challenges have you seen, and how can we tackle them?' Using this forum, people can share their ideas and rate or modify the ideas offered by others, too. Ideas can be sorted in a variety of ways—by keyword, geography, or list—to provide a range of entry points into the discussion."
So of course I went right on over and searched for "diabetes." I found this idea, courtesy of one Dawn Lyell of Toledo, OH:
FIND COVERAGE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
Because I am a Type 1, insulin-dependent Diabetic, I can not buy private insurance. Therefore it must always come from an employer. As a college student the jobs available either do not offer it or it is very poor quality. I then end up paying too much for my prescriptions and specialist visits. Right now I do not have coverage. It forces me to look into alternative ways to pay for doctor visits, prescriptions or just not get the care I need. I am very lucky to have a doctor who goes out of her way to work with me. Government assistance is not available for me. I am one of the people who gets hospital stays written off.
My Friends, if you have any inclination at all to play with a web site like this that just might help our voices get heard, please hop on over there and add your support for Dawn's idea. I don't know if it will really change anything, but at least it might get people thinking.
(What we really need, btw, is an Insurance-O-Matic for people with pre-existing conditions. You with me there?)