Rewarding The Sheeple

Goodbye, sweet America. Goodbye! I feel as if I hardly knew ye. But you're leaving now, if you haven't already left. I bid you a very tearful adieu.

The cause for my grief? According to an article over at the still very reputable
New York Times, "One-third to one-half of all patients do not take medication as prescribed, and up to one-quarter never fill prescriptions at all." That's terrible. What a tragedy. Oh, but wait. That's not the cause for my foreseeing doom for this once great and noble country. No, no. See, an "...effort to tackle the problem is gaining ground: paying people money to take medicine or to comply with prescribed treatment." Wait a minute. What now? Or, as Liz Lemon would say, WUCK?

Correct. There are folks out there who think that it is a good idea to PAY people to take their medications. For some reason, a payment is more of an incentive than good and/or better health. It gets better! They've turned it into a little game in some areas! For example "In a Philadelphia program people prescribed warfarin, an anti-blood-clot medication, can win $10 or $100 each day they take the drug — a kind of lottery using a computerized pillbox to record if they took the medicine and whether they won that day." Whether they won that day? Isn't feeling better a "win" in and of itself? What is wrong with these people?

Listen, I take Prilosec every freaking day. Do you know WHY I take it every freaking day? It's not because I'm getting PAID to take it. I take it because if I don't, I am in incredible pain. I prefer no pain to pain, thus I take the Prilosec. When I forget to take the Prilosec (hey, it happens and you know it does), what do you think my consequence is? That's right! Pain! When I'm not in pain, do you think I'm walking around thinking what a rip off my no pain is and how I wish I was getting paid to not be in pain? Uh, no. Because that would be what? Completely asinine, that is correct.

The article talks about a one 25-year old Chiquita Parker. Ms. Parker is (how did I guess) a single mother who is unfortunately afflicted with lupus. According to the article, she is "...too ill to continue her job with special needs children." That's unfortunate, but I fail to see how that relates to this topic. Fortunately, they do throw in some relevant facts such as that she "...repeatedly made medication mistakes, although she knows she depends on warfarin to prevent clots than can cause strokes, paralysis, or death." Let me get this straight. Without the medication, she's looking at dying. With the medication, she's not looking at dying. AND she has at least one child who is dependent upon her. THAT isn't incentive enough to take your medication?! What sort of "medication mistakes" are we talking about here? It's not that hard to not make mistakes with medication. There ARE directions right there on the side of the bottle!

Apparently that's not the only thing that isn't an incentive. She said “I would forget to take it,” and feel “like I couldn’t breathe.” Huh. Breathing is one of my favorite activities. I like it so much that I do it all day, every day! I'd pretty much do whatever I had to do in order to continue breathing. But I guess that is just one of the many differences between myself and banana Chiquita. She needed more of an incentive than oxygen. " the six-month lottery program, she pocketed about $300. “You got something for taking it,” Ms. Parker said. Suddenly, she said, “I was taking it regularly, I was doing so good.” Uh, wait. Isn't breathing getting something for taking it? Apparently, not in her world.

Her life as the mother of a small child is apparently only worth fifty bucks a month to her. Look, I understand that there are folks out there who really need that fifty bucks. I get that. But I don't get why my money should go toward giving them an "incentive" to take medication! What in the world do I care whether they take it or not?! That's not my problem! Give me back my money!

Honest to God, I don't care if someone is going to die because they're too moronic to see the benefit in taking their medication. I don't. I care one iota. I care more about the fact that they don't care rather than that they're not taking their medication. That's my concern; the idiocy that is prevalent in this scenario. Has anyone ever thought of looking into why improved health is not an incentive for these people? That's my question. Why don't they care? What's in it for them to not care? There has to be something. I have no idea what it could possibly be, since being sick or ailing is not a fun state to be in. This program just makes me angry. Good job enabling folks who are unwilling to take care of themselves. Good job taking away every single facet of personal responsibility. Oh, and good job making sure that there is always a reward for doing things that you are expected to do! It's a really nice society of sheep we're breeding here. Good Lord, people.

Seriously, I need to have it explained to me why having the doctor tell someone: "IF YOU DO NOT TAKE THIS PILL EVERY SINGLE DAY, YOU WILL DIE" is not incentive enough for them to do so. I don't get it. If you can't remember to take care of yourself every day by taking your medication, Ms. Parker, should I really be entrusting you to take care of and raise that child? What if you forget to feed him? How do we know she isn't going to forget to feed him? She can't remember to take a pill that enables her to breathe, remember?! How can we assume that she is a capable parent? I don't think we can. I just don't think that we can.

What's next? Paying people to finish high school? (Oh, we kind of do. It's called "a better chance at prosperity".) Paying people to not get arrested? (Oh, we kind of do. It's called "not going to jail".) Paying people to not get pregnant? (Oh, we kind of do. It's called "not getting pregnant"!) Do the people who are adovcating this program not understand that there needs to be an inner motivation to do certain things? If there is always the expectation of a reward, how is the stuff that isn't all that fun going to ever get done? And please, for the love of God, please, someone explain to me why HEALTH isn't a reward?!

Won't you join me in a heartfelt goodbye to the country once known as America? Once known far and wide as the United States of America, we will soon become the SSA, the Socialist States of America. I could probably make a small fortune renting out space on my stead upon which my walled-off (and heavily moated) compound sits. I know it sounds a little well-organized militia-y, but if this isn't the sound of doom knocking at our front door, I don't know what is. But I do know that it scares the hell out of me.