Scared Stupid

July 24, 2009 at 12:11 am | Posted in government, health care, political, rants | 1 Comment
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That’s what the opponents of health care reform want us to be, and for many people it’s probably working.  Have you noticed that the people most opposed to health care reform are those with the best coverage?

One of the (ridiculous) arguments heard most often is that if the government gets involved in health care we will have long waits for care, people will die, and the elderly will be refused coverage.  Even if all of this were true, wouldn’t it be better to wait for care than to have none at all?  And how would it really be any different than what most of us experience now?

We wait.  I try to avoid doctors as much as possible for reasons I won’t go into right now, however, when I do find myself in need of medical care this is what I’ve experienced (and heard similar stories from others).

I once called to try to get an appointment with a doctor for something I thought might be serious and was told the soonest opening they had was in four months.  I had already explained to the person at the other end of the phone what my problem was so I assumed she would try to fit me in ASAP.  I asked if she would do that and she said it was impossible.  I tried a few other doctors and got pretty much the same, to which I responded, no thanks…in four months my problem will either have resolved itself or I will be dead.

When you are lucky enough to get an appointment to see a doc you discover he/she has three or four other people with an appointment at exactly the same time as yours…not ten or fifteen minutes away but the same exact minute.  Physicians routinely triple and quadruple book as it’s better for their bottom line.

Doctors are blaming high health care costs on their malpractice insurance premiums.  That’s a crock. The premiums are indeed high, but I personally know several physicians and they live like royalty.  So maybe the problem really isn’t the malpractice premiums but their unwillingness to give up any part of their luxurious lifestyles.  And perhaps if the medical profession didn’t f–k up so often the premiums wouldn’t be so expensive.

If your appointment is scheduled for 10am and you arrive a few minutes early (as requested to fill out paperwork),  you might sit in the waiting area (in close quarters with people who may be contagious) for forty-five minutes to an hour and a half past your appointed time.  Finally your name is called and your name is called (you are now truly blessed) and you are led to an examination room with it’s thermostat set roughly somewhere around meat locker, where you are asked the same questions you just answered on the paperwork you were given on arrival.  Then you are told the doctor will be in to see you soon, and are left to freeze your ass off in the exam room for another thirty or forty minutes.  When his/her holiness the doctor finally arrives they usually ask the same questions you answered on your form and the nurse, who escorted you in, made notes of.  What, someone who was able to successfully complete medical school can’t read a simple form?  If you have questions, you’d better talk fast because you are generally allotted no more than five minutes of face time with the doc…and I’m being generous here.

Have you been to an emergency room?  The average wait to be seen for an emergency is six or more hours…for an EMERGENCY?  By very definition doesn’t emergency mean something needs to be done quickly?  They might as well give you a beeper (like some restaurants do) so you can go home or a movie or anywhere that doesn’t involve hanging out in the ER waiting area until it’s your turn.

When I was growing up I assumed no one in this country would be allowed to die just because they didn’t have enough money for whatever treatment they required…but sadly the reality is if you don’t have the money you might as well kiss your ass goodbye.

So this is the state of our present health care system, and it’s expensive, and costs will continue to rise exponentially.  I heard a statistic that every day, in this country, 60 people die from lack of health care.  Is this really the system we want to fight for?

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  1. My boyfriend has a family history of early onset heart disease. His father had his first heart attack at age 37. He died twenty years later of heart, kidney and diabetes. The Boyo’s cousin died at age 47, also of heart disease and diabetes. Now he is having symptoms of heart disease, but since he is uninsured, can’t get anything done, not even an EKG at the free clinic. My greatest fear is that he will have a heart attack, and his first will be his last. Only 60 people die every day of lack of health care? I thought it would be more.


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