Health Care Idea-O-Matic

American Public Media, the people who bring us public radio programs, are very smart. They not only have some very cool ideas, but they also know how to implement them. The latest is something called the Health Care Idea Generator, an “online activity that allows the public to share ideas and solutions regarding America’s health care system.”

Go check it out.


It’s a sort of interactive “think tank” where “ideas ranging from small improvements to sweeping overhauls can be entered and discussed.” There are special tabs to identify yourself as a Caregiver, Insurer, Employer, Uninsured or Insured patient. But you can also just be any old slob with a suggestion about how to make health care better. Here’s the pitch:

“It’s widely accepted that the American health care system is broken. But depending where you find yourself within the system, ‘broken’ can mean different things to different people. The Health Care Idea Generator asks …’What challenges have you seen, and how can we tackle them?’ Using this forum, people can share their ideas and rate or modify the ideas offered by others, too. Ideas can be sorted in a variety of ways—by keyword, geography, or list—to provide a range of entry points into the discussion.”

So of course I went right on over and searched for “diabetes.” I found this idea, courtesy of one Dawn Lyell of Toledo, OH:

Because I am a Type 1, insulin-dependent Diabetic, I can not buy private insurance. Therefore it must always come from an employer. As a college student the jobs available either do not offer it or it is very poor quality. I then end up paying too much for my prescriptions and specialist visits. Right now I do not have coverage. It forces me to look into alternative ways to pay for doctor visits, prescriptions or just not get the care I need. I am very lucky to have a doctor who goes out of her way to work with me. Government assistance is not available for me. I am one of the people who gets hospital stays written off.

My Friends, if you have any inclination at all to play with a web site like this that just might help our voices get heard, please hop on over there and add your support for Dawn’s idea. I don’t know if it will really change anything, but at least it might get people thinking.

(What we really need, btw, is an Insurance-O-Matic for people with pre-existing conditions. You with me there?)


4 Responses

  1. CALpumper
    CALpumper April 26, 2008 at 9:40 am | | Reply

    SO with you Amy!!!

    Preparing for the Call to Congress:

    I just printed out and read the official ADA Restoration Act and found the Pre-existing Condition Exclusion Patient Protection Act.

    I have a Huge opportunity to be heard while on Capitol Hill this coming Th, May 1st. The above link is how others can participate from home.

    While doing my homework I need to “check myself” and hone in the emotional roller coaster I experience getting worked up over the declining health care system.

    All in all it is about one thing:
    Having Your Voice Heard!!!

    Checking the site after I get through all of the government sites I have been viewing all morning. ;-)

    Thanks for this Amy! As always, you’re the best!

  2. Michelle
    Michelle April 26, 2008 at 7:04 pm | | Reply

    My family has had its experience and is still experiencing bouts with diabetes. My aunt, whom has passed over 10 years ago, was my first look at what can happen when faced with this disease. Through the years, more family, including my mother was forced to take on the fight.
    I’m going to be cycling in a 30 mile Tour de Cure in June. I’m trying to raise money towards & promote awareness of Diabetes.
    Please click on my link to help support me. Every dollar counts. Thank you

  3. camille johnson
    camille johnson May 9, 2008 at 8:42 am | | Reply

    off topic – but I don’t know where it fits.
    Topic: EZMeds / other service-businesses that offer to help you get ‘FREE’ meds from manufacturer.
    You may have heard that “qualifying” people can get their meds free from the company that makes them But, of course, you have to fill out their forms, get your doctors signiture (and other info), and the company’s form (such as EZmeds) — and this is for EACH medication. So now ther are companies which offer to do all the paperwork for a fee (EZMeds is $25 start up plus $97/mo) but for me that amount is worth it. Even with insurance, I was payingapprox $400/mo.
    They called me, explained that the upfront fee was $25 and “once the meds started arriving I would pay the fee.” This month, my credit card had a $122 charge from EZmeds and I haven’t gotten one medication yet. Two calls to Wayne G(CEO) produced NO help. So I guess this company is no good.
    My question: there must be one or two honest companies that provide this service. Please tell me their names/addresses.

  4. Eileen Blake
    Eileen Blake December 15, 2008 at 3:05 pm | | Reply

    I agree with you.

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