Doctor's Orders Expensive? Well, Maybe This Malaria Thing Will Go Away on Its Own

Filed under: News, In The News, Weird But True, Research Reveals: Babies, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Research Reveals: Big Kids, Research Reveals: Tweens, Research Reveals: Teens, New In Pop Culture

child medication picture

Sick kid? Let's hope you can afford treatment. Credit: Corbis

Your daughter starts looking like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist." She vomits across the room. Her eyes roll back in her head. Oh, and speaking of her head, it spins completely around.

Something is definitely wrong. Must be that flu bug that's making its way through the school. You call your doctor. She prescribes a series of treatments.

But wait. You might want to get a second opinion. No, not from your priest. Call your insurance company -- or possibly your banker. The cost of the treatment might be prohibitively expensive.

Whatever your child is ailing from, it might just run its course. So what if her head spins? It will reattach itself to her spine eventually, right? Worst case scenario: She joins the circus.

Parents choose between following doctor's orders and yielding to financial reality every day. And the number of parents doing so is growing.

The Los Angeles Times reports that researchers from the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Ohio surveyed 1,978 parents to see if lack of money and insurance made them ignore doctors' orders. They found 13 percent of parents had to obey their pocketbooks rather than their physicians last year.

The study was presented Oct. 3 at the American Academy of Pediatrics conference in San Francisco.

In many cases, the Times reports, the children were covered by insurance -- just not enough insurance.

This was illustrated by the yawning chasm between publicly insured children and those whose parents have private insurance. The kids with private insurance were twice as likely, according to the newspaper, to have their doctor's recommendations followed.

Families making between $15,000 and $34,000 per year were the hardest hit.

Actually, the Times reports, the poorest kids had better public insurance than kids whose families were merely struggling. And the richest kids, of course, got everything they needed.

It was the struggling families, languishing near the bottom, struggling to make ends meet, who got the fuzzy end of the Popsicle stick.

It's enough to make your head spin.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.