Friday, September 26, 2008

- Get Smart

Ok, at the risk of starting a political firestorm from all 2 people who read this (Thanks, Chris and Bernice!) I wanted to tell you guys about something I saw on the news the other day - A representative, John LaBruzzo (R-Metarie), is toting an idea that would pay individuals below the poverty line 1,000 dollars to get sterilized. I don't usually get into politics on my blog (it's a personal matter) but I wanted to hear what you all had to say, especially people that work on the emergency side of the healthcare field.

Tentatively I'd say we need to include sterilization for males and females, and put a cap on the age (no reason to sterilize a 60 y/o woman). I know it's not just going to cost just the payout of 1,000 dollars (you have to pay the doctor, the hospital, etc) but I'm under the impression that vasectomies and tubal litigation's aren't that rough, so does anyone know the average cost for a sterilization procedure?

I believe this would save us taxpayers a lot of money in the long run. Am I wrong? Am I right? What do you think?

Also, please note the new poll off to the right - I'm going to go one a medical Mission for a month or two next year (through Institute For Field Research Expeditions) and am taking suggestions on destinations

-MM

23 comments:

janetmiles said...

When I got my tubes tied 20 years ago, my share of the cost, after insurance, was around $3,000.

Loving Annie said...

I couldn't agree with you more. But I also think it ought to be a swap - if someone asks for welfare, they can get it - in exchange for being sterilized, as well.
I think in the long run it would be a very wise thing to do.
Having children when you can't afford to raise, feed, clothe, shelter, give them proper medical/health care and educate them is a disaster.
Politicans would howl however - it's too logical to have birth control put into effect like that.

GeorgeH said...

Be prepared to be called a racist. That is the usual liberal response to a suggestion like this.

keepbreathing said...

I like it. I hate to say this, but a lot of the poor people I interact with are really dumb and probably should not have kids. Many of them also seem to resent their children as mouths to feed that cut into the booze and meth money. And those who aren't stupid or just having kids because condoms are expensive are still not really able to care for their kids.

When I had a vasectomy done, it took about twenty minutes and cost less than 1000 bucks, most of which my insurance covered. I'd gladly have my tax dollars go to sterilization of volunteers in exchange for money, rather than having them go to some other stupid plan.

Bernice said...

I really don't think that is such a good idea. In theory it sounds like a great plan but I believe providing education on prevention and easy access to birth control would be more effective. But along those same lines, if ANY person of ANY financial status is looking for sterilization, why not pay them too?

Detail Medic said...

I'd like to sign up for that $1000! I don't need to get pregnant - hell - I'd like to donate my uterus to someone who WANTS to get pregnant! It would save me a hell of a bundle on birth control!!

EE said...

"In theory it sounds like a great plan but I believe providing education on prevention and easy access to birth control would be more effective."

Absolutely in-effective.

Tony said...

I agree with Annie that having children when you are ill prepared to care for them is not an intelligent idea, but I'm not sure making sterilization a condition of receiving welfare is such a good one either. As an example my wife's former employer did not offer insurance. As a person with a disability who requires occasional equipment and medical treatment (replacement wheelchair, and revisions to her amputation) she would have had to spend more than half of her monthly earnings to obtain private insurance. Through a state of Indiana sponsored program she was able to receive Medicaid services for an affordable premium. Now that we've moved and or current employer provides insurance we no longer have to use a government funded program. If sterrilization had been a requirement for receiving medical assistance (as apposed to resources on other ways of avoiding pregnancy) we would not be able to consider having children.

Which, on that note, is an area i agree with DM on. Kids scare the crap out of me and I don't hink I want them now. Give me the thousand bucks and I'll take care of it. You can't have my uterus though. :-)

I think that if sterrilization is a choice that someone makes then good, but the point (or at least what the point should be in my ideal world, I accept that reality is sadly different in many cases) of wellfare is to help people get back to being self-sustaining. Requiring someone to not ever be able to procreate in order to receive government assistance is a dangerous idea.

Wow, sorry. I didn't mean that to turn into such a long comment.

Tony

Kate said...

I don't know about that.... it'd probably open Pandora's Box.

Sara said...

I imagine that a large amount of the cost of sterilization is paying the physician's liability insurance. Vasectomies could be done in a health clinic for well under a thou assuming the physician's liability is picked up by the government. There are also sterilization devices for women that can be placed in a physician's office (i.e. essure devices, etc), though I'm unsure of the cost of the devices.
I wish that such policies could be implemented, I think people who can't afford children shouldn't have them. However, this policy would be cause for a truly godawful slew of lawsuits, and the cost of settlements might outstrip the cost benefit of the policy. Simply offering sterilization free (and advertising the policy widely) might have a good effect.

Gerald said...

I think it's a good idea, but as Bernice mentioned, it should be available to all, not just the poor. It might cut back on the amount of abortions taking place.(by folks from all financial statuses)I don't think education plans work all that well.

I would highly recommend Thailand for your mission.(I've lived here almost 30 years, so I might be biased.)

Elizabeth Bryant Alexander said...

I have always joked that it's a good idea. I'm sure it goes against the right to privacy somehow. I always thought financial incentive to chemical sterilization might work, like a $100 every time a woman gets a Depo shot if she's below the poverty line, simply free if not. They get an extra $400 a year and less babies in general. I'm sure the foster system would support it.

chuckr44 said...

"if someone asks for welfare, they can get it - in exchange for being sterilized, as well."

I agree!

Vasectomies are out-patient and cost $550.

sandra said...

while we are at this.. can we start drug testing for welfare. Be clean/sober or you dont get your check?

chuckr44 said...

"while we are at this.. can we start drug testing for welfare. Be clean/sober or you dont get your check?"

Michigan already does this for certain state-provided mental health services. If you're talking federal welfare or food stamps (which is also federal) they don't do that yet.

I used to work at a non-profit that provided mental health services and clients known to take drugs had to be drug free (and prove it) in order to get free counseling.

NewGradNurse said...

i see the theory here, but by doing this you are finalizing that these people underserving of children and asserting upon them that they are never able to rise above the poverty line. what about those who are able to move on and get an education? it is not your right to say who may or may not have children.

i'm not saying there shouldn't be education or alternatives to the systems in place now. but grouping people based on income class as "dumb" or a "racial issue" is a truly a shallow, uneducated view in of itself.

Bianca Castafiore said...

Please keep in mind that as emergency healthcare workers, you come into contact with only a small slice of life -- and from this you are making large and, um, *awful* deductions and dreaming of punishing policies.

You have as much insight into the mind and heart of the "poor" as does someone in retail sales.

Medicmarch. said...

whew! This one's getting a lot of responses. New Thread starting on the main posts page.

-MM

Anonymous said...

NewGradNurse, how is it "a racial issue"? My first nominee for sterilization is a *white* girl I used to work with. Every time her state aid would start to run out because her child was getting past a certain age, she'd get herself pregnant again. By yet another sperm donor. She moved here from a neighboring state, specifically to work the system, because our benefits are better than where she had been living. And before anyone jumps down my throat for this observation, you should know that she openly *bragged* about it!

I don't mind seeing my tax dollars go to someone who's honestly in need of a helping hand -- preferably for the short term while they also do their best to help themselves out of whatever bad situation they're in. But people like that conniving twit? Permanent sterilization!

NewGradNurse said...

i was merely quoting the "racist" issue cited by georgeh above.

i admit better paraphrasing was in line.

race is irrelevant to me.

Anonymous said...

NewGradNurse:

" i was merely quoting the "racist" issue cited by georgeh above. "

Ah. My apologies for misunderstanding.

And I agree, race is irrelevant. There are good folks and bad folks in every racial/ethnic/economic/etc. sub-group within the larger society.

BTW, georgeh: Some of us "liberals" actually do have common sense and don't respond with knee-jerk reactions to anything that could remotely be construed as "racist". I call 'em like I see 'em, too. Hmm, can I sometimes be politically incorrect and still be a liberal? lol

chuckr44 said...

"i see the theory here, but by doing this you are finalizing that these people underserving of children and asserting upon them that they are never able to rise above the poverty line."

If you are poor, having children pretty much guarentees that you will NEVER rise above the poverty line because of drastically increased expenses without a proportional increase in income.

"what about those who are able to move on and get an education?"

The few poor who want, and are able to get a higher education are a distinct minority. What does that have to do with being unable to pay to take care of your kids?

"it is not your right to say who may or may not have children."

It may not be a right, but it is still necessary due to dwindling resources of the various levels of gov't, and their lack of ability to take care of the less fortunate. Harsh, but that's reality.

"i'm not saying there shouldn't be education or alternatives to the systems in place now. but grouping people based on income class as "dumb" or a "racial issue" is a truly a shallow, uneducated view in of itself."

I grew up poor. I grew up WITH the poor. I know the poor. I lived away from the poor for a few years, now I live with them again, they are my neighbors. I would say I'm pretty educated about the poor.

There are some real nice poor people out there. That does not mean they make good parents, or they can manage their finances well, or they can afford children, in general.

This isn't a thing about "let's pick on the po' people". It's about lack of resources for the less fortunate. And how children that you cannot pay for pretty much (in general with few exceptions) guarentee a life of poverty, or at least a life where you cannot rise much above your current economic station. Remember, I'm making statements about the majority of a group, not everyone is the same.

Hugh said...

So, I do not really think this will work.
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