Monday, November 23, 2009

Thr Heroes of Healthcare

I hate to admit it, but some political strategists are geniuses. They have taken something that has been hated, reviled, and scorned by Americans for generations and turned it into an institution that many now believe we must protect, foster, and preserve. No, I'm not talking about telemarketers who call during dinner. I'm talking about the medical insurance industry. Over the years, I've heard many people say, "I love my doctor," but, until now, I never heard anyone say, "I love my health insurance." But to some, medical insurance companies have become the Heroes of Healthcare. During the Great Healthcare Debate, legislators and their "gullibles" are saying they like their current healthcare system so much that they don't want anyone to touch it. In fact, there are claims that the very idea of changing the healthcare system is unAmerican.

Obviously, if people don't like a certain approach or the principles or cost of any of the proposed legislation, they should object. I'm talking about those who now claim that we don't need to change anything about healthcare at all. Not a single Republican voted to even open up debate on the issue. Obviously, they don't think we need to change anything. They're probably even okay with not having any current magazines in the waiting rooms.

When both of my kids were born, we got bills from the hospital that included tests for my wife that she didn't get, treatments that she didn't receive, and medications that weren't prescribed for her. Each time I complained to the hospital. They said it was their procedure to bill for all of these things. It was a "package" -- like one of those Las Vegas "Three days, six nights" things or whatever they're called. They couldn't understand why I was so upset, since my insurance company would probably pay for the overcharges. I told them I was upset because the bills didn't represent the truth. They immediately corrected them. They didn't argue or fight or even put me on hold listening to "Moon River." This showed me that they knew the bills were unfair. Unfair? They even charged my wife for ice. I guess we're lucky they didn't ask us to chip in for the air-conditioning.

Do you know even one person who doesn't have a similar story?

One of the objections of the nay-sayers has to do with the government getting involved in healthcare. Haven't they ever heard of Social Security and Medicare? Would they like those to be abolished, too?

And of course there's the cost objection. These people didn't object to government spending when it came to the Bush and Obama bail-outs of the financial industry, but they don't like the idea of spending whatever it takes to fix healthcare. Oh I forgot, they don't think it needs fixing.

Oh, really?

The U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country, yet, the last time the World Health Organization put out its rankings, we were 37th in healthcare – in between Slovenia and Costa Rica. Don't those who oppose any change think we should at least move up to, I don't know, maybe 15th and kick Iceland's butt out of there?

Usually, our medical bills are so hard to read, that most of us don't bother trying. Couldn't the billing system use a little reform?

When a ride in an ambulance for three blocks costs hundreds of dollars, shouldn't someone look into that?

Is waiting eleven hours in an emergency room okay with those folks who don't want anything changed?

If the Senators were all really voting their "consciences" as so many of them claim, don't you think at least a dozen or so Democrats would disagree with parts of the bill and at least a similar number of Republicans might think, "Hey, that's not bad?" It's an amazing coincidence that on something this complex so many consciences happen to line up with their party's agenda.

I just hope that a whole bunch of Senators don't yell so much in opposition or in favor of the healthcare bill that they hurt their throats. It would be a shame if they had to seek medical attention. Oh, wait a minute. It wouldn't be a problem for them at all. Members of Congress already have great healthcare.


  1. Please understand this. As a Conservative, I will hate anything Chairman Obama and his minions like, even if it's good for me. The ....Democrats are screwing up their 15 minutes of fame. Obama, Peolosi and Reid remind me of team members of the 1962 New York Mets. (The worst team in the history of Baseball.)Everything we feared about Obama has come to fruition. He should heve remained a liberal College professor.
    Heaven help us!

  2. And what about those wonderful guys in there before Obama came along? Yep, they sure were great Americans weren't they?

    Anyone who lines up on either side of the so-called two party system in this country is a fool. THEY ARE BOTH THE SAME!! Drunk with power and money driven, they care only about their cronies.

    I haven't vote for a Democrat or a Republican in a state or federal election since I voted for that idiot Jimmy Carter in 1976. He showed me, along with tricky Dicky Nixon before him, that they could care less about us regular folks.

    Go ahead and fall into that mud slinging crap with your Limbaughs and Moores just don't expect me to go along with the charade ever again. May God help us all.

  3. Nice article Lloyd. However, my conservative objections were not stated accurately. Everyone talks about the long wait at a hospital emergency room, but nobody ever addresses the severe shortage of health care professionals (doctors and specialists) that exists in this country. Have you been to (or tried to make an appointment with) a health care professional office lately? In my area the typical office requires a 3 - 6 month advance appointment or they advise you to "go to the emergency room if you think it's vital to see a dcotor prior to this". A 6 month wait for a cardiologist visit, 2 months for a dermatologist visit, and even 2 -3 months for a dentist visit. And now you want to throw literally millions of additional people into a system that can't provide timely service for the current load? And when it comes to public programs, the biggest objection is that no matter how well intentioned or well designed a program is when introduced, there is NO GUARANTEE the program won't be tweaked and changed by future congresses or administrations. Medicare and Social Security were not designed or intended to be run the way they are now nor were their funds ever intended to become part of the general fund. They are both falling apart ready to take this country down with them yet every supporter of this health care reform points to them as some shining example of a successful government program. Increase the number of doctors and specialists (AMA reform), drop the public option, address the malpractice litigation costs and then we can start talking about health care reform.

  4. If it is taking you that long to get an appointment, maybe you should consider signing up with Kaiser Permanente. There's no way I've ever waited that long to see a doctor, and if I did, I'd change my insurance carrier.


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