Someday I want to have a very detailed conversation with my pancreas. Specifically, I’d like to ask this organ exactly why it decided to stop working in 1996. I’m sure it had a very good reason. Perhaps it felt its contract had run its course and it was going to take an early retirement. Whatever the reason, I get to spend the rest of my life getting my insulin from little glass bottles.

Life’s not fair. From what I hear, Obamacare is supposed to fix that. We shall see.

But I digress.

Diabetes is not a fun disease to have. When you look at the morbid numbers, diabetes kills more people than AIDS and is the leading cause of blindness, heart disease, and kidney failure. Also up there among the effects are poor leg circulation. If you ask The One, there are a good number of doctors who make a lot of money amputating legs instead of treating the disease. Whatever the side effect, let’s just say that diabetics like me have a big stake in maintaining “normal” blood sugar levels.

This is much harder than it sounds. It involves taking blood and analyzing it for its sugar level and then calculating how much insulin one must inject to cover the sugar contained in whatever meal one is about to consume. You learn a lot about carbohydrates and you learn to live without things most normal people take for granted. As an example, I haven’t had a sugar loaded soft drink in six years.

Sugar levels are everything. Too much sugar and you go into a diabetic coma. Take it from me, that is no fun. You end up in an ICU with tubes sticking out of places you didn’t think tubes should go. Not fun. Too little sugar and your brain shuts down. Also not good.

Before I joined the diabetic club, I seldom if ever went to a doctor. Now I go once every three months or so whether I want to or not. I sit down in an office with an endocrinologist and we discuss my weight, my general health and most of all my Hemoglobin A1C level. This is a very important number for any diabetic. It basically tells you what your average sugar level has been over the past three months.

About four years ago I got an insulin pump. I did this principally because I wanted to stop stabbing myself in the gut three or four times a day to deliver insulin to my malfunctioning body. I use a Medtronic Minimed Pump. In the interest of full disclosure, no, Minimed hasn’t paid me to write this.

The aforementioned HA1C test is very important. Diabetics are told to keep this level under 7%. Even with the pump therapy, this is hard to do. As of six months ago, my level sat someplace between 8 and 9%.

This year I added what is called the Continuous Glucose Monitoring package to my pump therapy. Now instead of stabbing my fingers three or four times a day to read my blood sugar, the CGM device monitors it constantly. I can adjust my insulin levels faster and thus have better control. After my most recent trip to the doctor, I came out with an HA1C level of 6.7%. This is a good thing.

If you’ve gotten this far, I’m sure you’re wondering why it is that I’ve explained all this. Rest assured, I have a point.

You see, my Medtronic Minimed insulin pump is a “medical device”. As such, it is now subject to a tax associated with Obamacare. Minimed estimates the cost of this tax to their bottom line will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $150-200 million per year beginning in 2013. Why the medical device industry got kicked in the teeth with this arbitrary tax is a mystery to me. I guess the Botox industry has better lobbyists. Maybe The One wanted to punish the industry responsible for the production of Dick Cheney’s pacemaker.

Whatever the reason, dear reader, $200 million dollars a year is going to be siphoned off from Minimed’s bottom line in order to fund Obamacare. That means there will be $200 million less dollars available for product improvement. Minimed will have to pass this cost along to the people who depend on these devices for their continued daily existence on the right side of the grass.

In short, the decision of The One, The Pelosi, and Dusty Harry along with the rest of the democratic party to punish a life saving industry will result in fewer people being able to make use of the very technology democrats say will reduce costs. Limited, dare I say rationed, access to this type of medical device will lead many people to an early grave. It really is that simple.

Minimed makes a product which has greatly improved the quality of my life. It will most likely give me more time on this earth to enjoy with my wife and children. My insulin pump and CGM system enable me to more fully participate the pursuit of happiness envisioned by Jefferson. Minimed turns a good profit by producing this device for me and people like me. Would they have done so under a socialized system similar to the one dreamed of by The One, The Pelosi, and Dusty Harry? Methinks not. Evidently, profitability is no longer part of the American system.

I’m sure this is somebody’s idea of Hope & Change, its just not mine.

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