Health Care Reform of the Most Basic Kind

Written by admin on . Posted in Dewing Things Better, On Topic OTDT, Opinion and Column.


First, here’s wishing Sal Silvestra Caputo, who faithfully delivered this paper for so many years, a full recovery from the fall that so unfortunately broke his hip. No, it didn’t happen delivering the papers, which even in clement weather is high-risk work in New York City. Nor was he knocked down by a “rogue cyclist” or driver who doesn’t yield when turning into a crosswalk. Rutted crosswalk conditions didn’t fell him either; rather it was an indoor fall, about which we 65-plussers are constantly warned by policy makers who do too little about the forementioned outdoor dangers.

“And medicine does too little about improving balance, which erodes with the years,” says Boomer Nancy Adlfinger, whose ankle was broken in a fall. She is also “so grateful that now I know what my husband suffers with his disability.” Empathy—and how when to know it’s deficient, is the real shortcoming to be overcome.

It’s good to know that Sal has a supportive friend to help him in the recovery process. Far more should be said about why so many don’t in this go-it-alone society, even with all the technology that supposedly connects some, but not all. Sal also has offspring about whom my informer knew little because we parents of adults aren’t asked about these most significant others.

And yet as the late patriarch Joseph Kennedy strongly maintained, “The greatest Kennedy asset is our closely connected interdependent extended family.” And yes, you’ve heard that here in myriad ways before, but until it takes hold, to quote Dr. Samuel Johnson, “We need as much to be reminded as informed.”

And with the enormous outpouring of tributes to Sen. Ted Kennedy, let’s not forget his also greatly missed sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and her “labeling people” concern. “No more saying, ‘the disabled,’ but rather, ‘persons with such and such a disability,’” insisted this foremost champion of persons with any and all disabilities. She might also prefer “a person who is alcohol-dependent,” rather than “an alcoholic.” Sadly, this dependence did not spare the Kennedys and intervention is still too little considered.

If ever preventative medicine and treatments were needed, it’s for alcohol dependence, which unlike widely “addressed” smoking and obesity problems, so adversely—even criminally—affects behavior. Ah, and not for Catholics only surely, is Recovery Sunday, Sept. 13, “the 11th annual Day of Prayer in all the New York Archdiocese parishes for those struggling with and in recovery from addictive illnesses (www.recoveryweekend.org). Other faiths take note! (To be continued.)

And the life/limb/health-saving endeavor called CARR (Coalition against Rogue Riders) needs all the help possible to fight City Hall brass, so blinded by its love of two-wheeling that it can’t see how these silent wheelers’ wholesale aversion to the laws of the road endangers other travelers in this high-density city.

Ah, how incredibly blessed to have safe and convenient public transit—preventative medicine of the very first kind. Except, must say it—again, and for however long it takes—the articulated bus’ interior noise and lack of temperature control (in all city buses) are unhealthy, uncomfortable and energy-wasteful. So please, help, and get mad as hell, o-o-ps, the dickens, and tell 311, “These very real, everyday health blights just have to go!” And while you are telling…

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