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Medical Care

August 1st, 2009 - 12:33 pm

I feel like i’ve lived through a particularly challenging Ionescu play for the past several weeks.  I’ve been through “major surgery” (hip replacement), stayed several days in the hospital thereafter, and then got wheeled into the “rehab section” where i was given therapy to rebuild my hip and leg muscles.  That will continue for quite a while, it seems.  The surgery’s pretty easy, and invariably effective.  It’s the therapy that is most challenging.

But I digress (probably some of the happy pills remain lurking in my bloodstream).  While I was soldiering on, my radio was giving me reports of the big fight over “health care,” with the president and his phalanxes telling the American people that our health care system is “in crisis,” and we’d better fix it until it’s tooo late.  And I kept asking myself, “but how can anyone possibly believe this”?  Certainly no one who has had a serious problem.

When I checked in to the hospital, I got a document that basically said “welcome!  we’re going to give you the best care possible, and if you are unhappy with it, here is how to complain so that we can make it better for you.  and by the way, in the event you can’t pay for it, not to worry.  you’re covered.  nobody gets rejected here, let alone thrown out, because of inability to pay.”

In fact it’s even better than that.  The hospital is a good hospital, probably not a great hospital (not in a class with, say, the Cleveland or Mayo Clinics, for example, or Cedars Sinai or Mass General or the incredible center in Houston), but that’s in fact only the start.  Once discharged, they continue to help you.  So, for the past couple of weeks, a registered nurse has come to the house twice weekly to draw blood and take my “vitals,” and a therapist–a really good therapist, by the way–comes three times a week to give me new exercises and monitor my progress.

You really can’t ask for better treatment.  What a great system!  What a country!  And those who can’t pay for it are covered…so where is the crisis?

Not that there aren’t problems.  I made some suggestions to the doctors and nurses, in fact.  But a crisis it ain’t.  It looks to me like a system that needs tweaking, especially concerning the role of the attack dog lawyers.  It really doesn’t look at all like a system that has to be scrapped and redesigned from scratch.  And that’s the picture from the inside, not some abstract analysis.

If you want an example of something that should be razed to the ground and built from ground zero, take the Intelligence Community.  Please.  But leave us the basic elements of our health care system.

Which is what most people seem to think.  And they’re right.

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