Dangerous Lack of Healthcare in Kansas
Upon entering the custody of Atchison County Jail, I was on several different medications, including insulin, glyburide, clonadine (high blood pressure), metaformin, hydrocodone 7 (neuropathy nerve damage), and other medications that I can't recall. It wasn't even 2 weeks before all my medications were dropped but my metaformin. Common sense will tell you without my medications my blood sugar, blood pressure and pain was all increased. Instead of readjusting my meds, I was placed in lockdown for medical observation which lasted a week, and my condition didn't improve any at all.
I arrived here in August 2016, and an A1C test should have been done soon after my arrival. However, it wasn't done until November 2016. The next day I was told by the nurse my A1C came back as 11.8 when it should be around 6.0. The nurse commented that it was the second highest that she has ever seen. That same day they decided to drop my sugar checks to 1x a week when common sense would tell you it should have been increased, not decreased. It was 2x a day. I should also be on a low carb diet but instead I'm on pretty much on an all carb diet.
I have been complaining about my eyesight and requesting an eye exam but being told my eyesight is not bad enough that I need an eye exam nor am I at risk for an eye disease. Yeah nothing about that statement makes any sense, one of the first things to go with diabetes is eyesight.
Since being here they still haven't tested my kidneys, cholesterol level, or dental. They did check my neuropathy once but wouldn't do anything for it. They checked my blood pressure a few times which has been high every time but they refuse to give me medication. I get charged $10 every time a nurse sees me. I'm charged for meds but this place will not give you a 30-day supply upon release.
I have filed two lawsuits because of this and have been retaliated against. The jail will not provide me copies, notary, or access to law library. I'm not allowed to work to pay off my fines. I put in for a sentence modification but was denied because captain told court I am a behavior problem although I have not been in any trouble at all.
MIM(Prisons) responds: Lack of medical care leads directly to disabilities and worse health problems, as this writer so clearly demonstrates. As the "Disabilities and Anti-Imperialism" article explains, this medical neglect is a product of capitalism, where the needs of the people are ignored if they run counter to the needs of capitalist corporations to profit.
Wealthy people have access to good healthcare within the United $tates, but marginalized communities, like prisoners and lumpen on the streets, are shut out from this service. And as we regularly hear in the debates over the Affordable Care Act, many middle-class Amerikans are also lacking access to affordable healthcare because of the individualist profit-driven system.
We know that providing good healthcare is possible on a broad scale, but it will require first a government that is truly working in the interests of the people, rather than one focused on maximizing profits for the First World. We have a good example of health care truly serving the interests of the people in China between 1949 and 1976 under socialism. They focused on preventive care, sanitation, and education, combined with a massive campaign to get health care out to people in the countryside who were previously unable to access doctors.
Before 1949, life expectancy in China was just 35 years and the illiteracy rate was 80%. In 1979 life expectancy rose to 68 years and illiteracy had declined to less than 7%. As a part of the dramatic improvements in health, the Chinese infant mortality rate was reduced to a lower level than in New York City.(1)
Essentially China achieved health for its population comparable with much wealthier countries by the end of the 1970s by focusing on serving the people rather than serving the profits of the wealthy. Building such a system of health care came only after the forceful removal of imperialist powers from China and the destruction of the former institutions of rule.