Tuesday, April 17, 2007


NewFNP works in the poorest service area within her county. Almost every single health outcome indicator (overall mortality, teen births, infant mortality, obesity, cardiovascular mortality, insurance coverage - you get the picture) is the worst in her entire huge county. Her patients are exclusively covered by public health insurance, if at all.

So when newFNP has a patient who has some wealth accumulated, she finds it, frankly, a little surprising.

For instance, when newFNP asks her patient if she has health insurance and her patient responds that, no, she doesn't qualify for health insurance because she owns her home, newFNP is surprised. NewFNP's patient's net worth is greater than that of newFNP, yet newFNP is working, paying off five years of grad school loans and going home to her rented apartment, albeit a sweet-ass apartment with hardwood, washer & dryer and arched doorways located in a chic and safe area of her city. Perhaps newFNP will one day achieve the dream of home ownership herself, but she is currently unwilling to sacrifice her HMO and 401(k).

NewFNP's landed gentry patient must think that state-funded insurance is the creme de la creme, because she asked newFNP if newFNP "qualified" to receive it. Almost! If the state took newFNP's loans into account, she just might qualify for public insurance and section 8 housing!

At any rate, newFNP believes that this speaks to the need for universal health insurance. Should newFNP's patient have to sell her house in order to qualify for public health coverage? Does being a homeowner make newFNP's patient a woman of means? Might newFNP's patient end up costing the public health system more money if she can't get the care she requires? No, no, yes.

NewFNP does not like to think about how much longer we have until the next presidential election, but is she ever hopeful that the pendulum will be swinging left!

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