Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thankful for American Health Care

A beam scale with a dollar sign on one side and a medical symbol on the other side

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been repeatedly appreciated the medical care system we enjoy in America. My husband has not been feeling well for a long time and finally a couple of weeks ago, went to his doctor. Meanwhile, I drove over to Mom’s and managed her medical appointments, including a minor surgery. I realized how much I rely on Hubby to drive. Having to do both the drive and the medical care, I came home utterly exhausted and didn’t recover for nearly a week.

While I was gone, Hubby had a stomach CT – the day after it was prescribed. The stomach was clear, but they caught the lower portion of his lung and saw a nodule. His doctor ordered a chest CT, which he had the next day and which showed the nodule more clearly. We called my pulmonologist and she ordered a PET scan and a lung biopsy. He had the PET scan the next day, which showed the lung nodule and a thyroid nodule. He could have had the lung biopsy the following day, except that they forgot to tell him to stop taking aspirin. He had that a couple of days later and a thyroid scan the following day. So within a week, he had all the diagnostic tests he needed. It was amazing. What we learned was that the nodules seem to be benign, although at least the one on the lung will probably need to be removed due to its size.

The thing that struck me in all of this was how worried we were, even having to wait from Wednesday until Monday for the biopsy and even knowing that he was having literally a test a day. Within one week, he had all of the diagnostic tests needed to let us rest a bit easier. I was reminded over and over of how in Canada, England, and other countries with socialized medicine, people wait months to get even one diagnostic test. I don’t know how they live with the suspense. Certainly it has to exacerbate the patient’s medical condition, making it more difficult and expensive to treat, and adding stress illnesses to family members. It also has to affect productivity of both the patient and family members. We were pretty useless until we knew that it wasn’t malignant. I can’t imagine why our lawmakers think socializing our medical care can be a good thing.

I ran across this video yesterday. I think it speaks for itself. It’s long, but well worth the time. Watch it, and then make your voice heard in Washington. Congress is considering health care “reform” already and hope to pass it by the end of August--another huge, unaffordable bill that most legislators won’t read before voting. If you care about health care for your parents, yourself, and your family, you need to make your opinions heard now. Yes, we need health care reform, but imposing CanadaCare isn’t the answer!

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2 comment(s):

can you really put a price on a healthy a healthy society

By Anonymous medical alert, at 8:07 PM  

Sorry for the delay in responding. We've been on vacation. In answer to your question, two thoughts come to mind.

First and most simplistically, yes. There is a price to everything and we have to set priorities. Failure to do that as a nation and individually has got us in the situation we're in today.

But more important, your comment makes the assumption that ObamaCare will result in a healthier society. Most people who understand health care and economics believe that it will result in a much LESS healthy society. Let's be logical. There is simply no way to provide more care and cover more people for less money (or even with the same amount of money) without rationing. Can't be done. So how do we decide?

First, the problem isn't a 47 million person problem. It's about a 12 million person problem (those who want health insurance and can't get it and who are here legally). A 12 million person problem does not require an overhaul of the entire system. It may require some tweaks to the existing system.

Second, a majority of the health care problems are the result of life style choices. Until we as a people become more responsible for ourselves and the choices we make, any health care program is little more than a thumb in the dyke.

By Blogger Pat, at 2:02 PM  

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