As I sat there in the surgery room, waiting for my doctor to return with the good or bad news after each of the multiple sessions based upon a pathology check, I thought about all of the hype about universal healthcare coverage today. We are told by the zealots who want to finish off the dwindling relationship between doctor and patient that the government knows best and one size fits all is a winner that will save everyone money while giving quality care for all. We are told not to worry, that the addition of illegals and others ineligible for American care at no cost will be easily handled and that we will all be glad we got it. Yet, when Obamacare was proposed, an early push toward the ultimate goal of single player later, we found that costs went through the roof and that many just couldn't afford the premiums let alone the outrageous upfront co-pays and these were people who previously had affordable insurance that worked. And with the Medicaid system offering payment rates to doctors that are so low that it makes the work unfeasible, more and more practices no longer take Medicaid and some not even Medicare unless the patient has a good supplement. You can't blame a good doctor for wanting a decent payment after all of his or her training and his high malpractice policy costs. No, the blame is with the politicians and the bureaucrats who replace the doctor as the decider of who gets what and how. Things have gradually been heading this way for a long time and Obamacare just sped up the process. And for those who have high premiums today, just look at one size fits all for we are paying for every kind of service, not just the ones we need. Even worse, doctors, particularly the general practice types, are basically glorified clerks with the data gathering tasks while being limited in treatment to exactly what the bureaucrats who think they know best what works. And this is leading to a shortage of doctors since the rigors of medical school becomes no longer worth the reward. No, the doctors have been reduced to pawns and the patients find themselves limited to getting what the system wants, not what they need.
As I thought about these things during my lengthy visit, I realized how fortunate I was to have coverage at probably the least limited of options still working today. Oh, the premiums are much higher and the co-pays as well, but it is still so much better than many working for small private businesses or independent and on their own. I also know, however, that what the future holds unless we wake up will be less attractive as the co-pays and the other out-of-pocket expenses will ramp up much greater than they already have, choices will be further limited and quality will disappear with long waiting times abounding. I only pray that Americans will wake up, rise up and demand a return to patient-doctor systems that provide what patients and doctors want, a medical system. Doctors want to return to practicing medicine, not serving a bureaucratic master who loves his or her power. It can be done, but to do it, the secrecy of pricing needs to be removed and the competitive process of choice in healthcare needs to be the rule. When doctors can show some initiative and compete for patients, such as the growing trend for concierge medicine at affordable pricing shows, great strides can be made. It takes freedom to change the long antiquated system that we have today. It takes some thinking out of the box, not the attitude of it's just the way things are. Think about it while I go back to nursing my aching body as I finish my recovery from Tuesday's action. And have a great day.