Trumping Public Health

One of the lines that both a truism and a cliche in advertising is:

Out of site, out of mind.

When people don’t think about something, they don’t act on it. When that something is a disease, they don’t protect themselves and the disease proliferates.

The US cut spending on public health services, and we now have the highest rates of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia in the industrialized world. They are also the highest rates ever experienced in the US. There were 2.3 million new cases in 2017 in the US.

Why does this matter?

  • It impacts what you pay for health insurance. The purpose of public health information campaigns is to reduce the incidence of disease, and ultimately to reduce spending on health care. When they don’t, you take a hit in what you pay for health insurance.
  • While some Sexually Transmitted Diseases are for the most part easily treatable, the effects of failure to treat can be severe. And they are easily spread. At one point, we thought syphilis was virtually eliminated in the US. Now it’s back, bigger than ever.

Concerns are also mounting that gonorrhea could soon become resistant to all current antibiotics, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said.(3)

  • A new mother with an STD can pass the disease to an infant during delivery. That adds massively to medical costs. How can anyone be pro-life and not care about this? Yet it’s the “conservatives” leading the charge to cut funds for prevention.
  • It can be quite painful — the gift that keeps on giving.
  • It’s not fair to an innocent partner or infant.

Some of the funding for public health is Federal, but much originates at the state level. And we know which states are the cheapskates — places like Louisiana and Kentucky. However, their actions can impact insurance rates across the US.


Sources:

  1. https://www.livescience.com/63454-std-cases-rising-fourth-year.html
  2. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/08/gonorrhea-syphilis-chlamydia-budget-cuts/568837/
  3. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/stds-on-the-rise-cdc-gonorrhea-syphilis-chlamydia-sexually-transmitted-diseases-record-levels/
  4. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/highest-std-rates-sexually-transmitted-diseases_us_5b85856de4b0162f471cf805
  5. https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/28/health/std-rates-united-states-2018-bn/index.html

 

 

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