Millions of Americans — doctors and employers as well as us ordinary “consumers” — are living in trepidation of the onset of ObamaCare. Many doctors are retiring early, many employers are scrambling to devise ways of of opting out of the system, and individuals are writing their Congressmen and worry about the future of their medical care.

These are not irrational actions. ObamaCare will make health care more cumbersome, more expensive, and guarantee a lower standard of medical care. It’s the Democrat way: take something that works, inject a huge amount of government regulation and control, stand back and admire the resulting monstrosity and christen it “progress.”

As long as enough money can be funneled into the process, there will be people who will applaud the result — alternating the clapping of their hands with the extension of that same appendage to latch on the some of the circulating lucre.

Bad though ObamaCare is, however  — and for anyone who needs a refresher course, let me recommend my friend Sally Pipes’s Broadside on the subject, The Cure for Obamacare — it is well to remember that ObamaCare is not the only thing wrong with American medicine.  Alas, it was possible to shove ObamaCare down the throats of the American people only because the delivery of medical care in this country had already been so heavily bureaucratized. The ordeal recounted by a friend illustrates the problem.

This friend, who is himself an eminent physician, had a battery of medical problems this past year.  Among other things, he had knee replacement surgery. He also developed a melanoma, a particularly dangerous form of skin cancer, on the back of one of his legs. He had the cancer removed, and, though he took a nasty fall at one point,  all seemed well.

But then he developed a severe pain in his groin. Had the melanoma returned or spread? Five doctors and as many MRIs later, the answer seemed to be No. No cancer. Yet the pain persisted. It ruined his summer vacation.  Finally, he went to a pain clinic and had a nerve block injection. That provided some relief, but it soon wore off.  What to do?