Friday, April 2, 2010

What Ails You

A word on doctors: as you know, I've been fighting "the crud" for two weeks. I won't go into details because nobody wants to read about somebody's sinus or congestion problems, but I've spent the better part of two weeks feeling like a truck ran over me. I kept thinking it would go away, I'd wake up the next day and feel oh so much better, but no. It kept hanging. Finally, yesterday when it hurt just to breathe I decided I better go get checked just in case it turned into something I can't handle over the long weekend.

I picked up the phone about 10:30 a.m, called my doctor's office, they told me to come on in at 4. Now how simple was that? Same day appointment. I arrived at 3:45 and was out of there by 4:15. It took me longer to get my two prescriptions filled than it took to sit in the doctor's office.

Oh I know, we've all been to the doctor and had to wait forever. I just got lucky! Everyone expects to wait a reasonable amount of time.

But, I can't help but wonder how that same experience will play as the effects of Obamacare fall into place. Assuming my doctor isn't one who chooses to retire or close his practice, as some are likely to do, how long would I have to sit and wait with the influx of new patients that will be flooding doctor's offices? How long would I have to wait for an appointment? Will I be told "You aren't really sick enough yet; call us when your fever hits 102."

Memeorandum has the story today of a doctor in Florida who has a sign on his door instructing his patients who voted for Obama to consider seeking care elsewhere. Whatever you think of his ethics, he does at least still have free speech in this country. He's not refusing to treat anybody. He's just making his patients aware of what is to come. Inside the waiting room he has flyers of the time line of changes to come.

This doctor will be vilified by some and lauded by others, but I applaud his backbone. Politico has an excerpt today from and interview with Obama by CBS in which he says

I think vast majority of Americans know that we're trying hard. I want what's best for the country. They may disagree on certain policy issues but I didn't buy all the hype right after inauguration where everybody was only saying nice things about me and I don't get too worried when things aren't going as well because I know that, over time, these things turn.

Well, indeed they do turn. I think he's deluding himself as to what the "vast majority of Americans" think, though. I don't think the polls indicate that Americans support Obamacare at all. Americans most decisively did not support this particular bill. And as far as his wanting "what's best for the country," well, I'd have to question that as well.

Is what's best for this country alienating our allies and supporting our enemies? Civilian trials for terrorists? Massive new debt? Expansion of entitlement programs? Crippling energy policies like cap and trade? Is taunting and ridiculing the opposition a good thing? When Obama gloats "go for it!" to Republicans who vow to repeal Obamacare or when he says "I won" or "the election is over" - is arrogant divisiveness good for the country?

He's right about one thing - these things do turn.

So meanwhile, I'm going to take my antibiotics, be grateful for my doctor and wait for the healing to begin. The healing for the country, on the other hand, has a longer way to go.

(Bottom Photo by Deirdre Lewis / April 1, 2010)


G.R. said...

OOOOOOOOO! You guys are soooo hateful. So stop it. You may hurt the feeling so the child in the White House

david7134 said...

If you want a good picture of what to expect, go to LSU the next time you are ill. LA has had socialized medicine since the 30's via the charity system. I would estimate that your problem would have taken about one full day. I have worked with LSU off and on (mostly off) for 40 years. I have sat in on sessions in which care systems were developed and discussed. There is a specfic intent to reduce your ability to obtain fast, efficient service. This is rationing. Rationing is the only way to make medical care affordable to the people paying the bills, in this case the state. The attitude of the staff is much different from anything you can imagine. No one cares. This is true for the VA as well. A favorite phrase that is commonly heard from stare and federal employees is "that is not my job description". Sending someone for blood in an emergency frequently means waiting one hour. In the private world, a few minutes. Government hospitals around the world are noted for filty, over crowding, noise, and any other description that would not be tolerated in a private environment.

The doctor that you mentioned has been critized for his statement violating ethics and other concerns. Yet what people don't realize is that the world of medicine fundamentally changed with this bill. Doctors have had it, they have little worry about ethics when they have lost their profession. Many are simply aiming at how to get more money out of the system. Others have lost their concern. As long as I have been in medicine I have heard nothing but complaints in one form are another. Now you will finally find something to really complain about. But no one will really listen. There will be rules and regs but these are little more than attempts by the rulers to appear like they are involved and attempting to make things better. They will not be like your private doctor used to be.

Everything that you perceive as a problem with our previous system was caused by government interferrence. The cost is going to be something that will crash the system. This whole concept is madness. I seriously doubt that the election process will change anything. If you want more on LSU, let me know. I am aware that others may feel that this hospital and system is great. All I can say is work in it for a short period.

Quite Rightly said...

"We're really trying hard . . . ."

Pitifully, that's what passes for accountability in today's White House. A weak soft-soapy attempted con-job that "they're trying.

"They" should have stayed for the whole movie:

"Do... or do not. There is no try."

Glad you're feeling better.

robot said...

Thanks for the Blog of the Day! Humbled, I am by your generosity.