Health care thoughts from Barbara

There are multiple reasons that I fear the thought of government controlled health care.

  1. Your choices will be taken away from you. The government programs does not take into consideration individual needs, they make decisions only as a general rules that apply to each person despite what is best for the specific person–except for themselves. I am sure they will always be able to get around the rules they make for other people. They are already making decisions for you, not the health care person who knows what the situation is.
  2. I have worked with nurses and doctors from Canada. Each nurse at our hospital takes care of 4-5 people at a time plus they have aides. Nurses are your first line of defense in the hospital, they are the ones that are there to make important decisions for you–call the MD, send you to the critical care unit, etc. The Canadian nurses said that they may have more than 10 patients and not enough aides. One nurse said that she is sure that people died because they didn’t have time to assess the situation for the patients in critical need. Plus the ER was flooded with patients with sore throats and ear aches so that the ER Staff didn’t have time to assess who had the critical needs. After all, health care is free so why not just go to ER and not wait until the next day?
  3. It appears to me that people who have free health care take advantage of it. The big example is welfare/Medicaid patients. They have poor health habits, little carry through on instructions. In home health we disliked getting Medicaid patients, not because they were poor, but because of their “give me attitude”. Give me the best of care because “I” am just as good as you and I want everything but I don’t want to take care of myself. These patients are often “frequent fliers” who come in to get their COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), diabetes or drug and alcohol dependencies under control. We clean them up, “save” them, send them home, and they are back in a few months. These people burn up so much money for health care but, hey, its “free” so no problem for them. In contrast, people on Medicare, they earned it by working all their lives–no it’s not a great system either but people did earn it–just want to get better and get out of the hospital or out of home health because they have a life they want to go back to. They generally follow instructions better and don’t return to the hospital over and over again. In general they are a pleasure to care for because they appreciate their health care.
  4. The government screws up so many things. They hire more and more layers of administration and they still can’t get it right. Plus there will always be people who learn how take advantage of the system so they will have to hire more and more non-medical people to police the system but they usually only hurt the people who are trying to follow the rules. You can’t imagine how much paperwork we have to fill out to see Medicare and Medicaid patients plus the charting that is required on all patients.
  5. Good MDs and health care workers are the frogs that are starting to boil. You don’t know the early and late hours these rural MDs are working or the piles of paperwork sitting on their desks. They are not making big money but they work the “big” hours. Government will not run this system efficiently. There will not be incentives for the really bright people to go into medicine–nope they are not that stupid. Seriously I think that will we will have an even greater shortage of MDs and other medical staff. But don’t worry they are accepting people–minorities–into medical programs who actually need remedial help passing tests. Now that makes me feel better about our health care.

When the government takes over we can look forward to poor health care for everyone.

7 thoughts on “Health care thoughts from Barbara

  1. N3 appears to be very true in Canada. Friends of mine who live north of the border say it’s nearly impossible to schedule a timely appointment for even routine matters. The clinics are crammed with lonesome, elderly people who basically book standing appointments for the tiniest issues. He thinks they’re getting their bunions and rashes checked so they can get a little social interaction, not from any real medical need.

  2. Using Australia’s government based healthcare as the background for my questions/comments…

    #1: Which choices are you referring to Joe? The only choice limitation that we had was which hospitals we could go to, because private hospitals would not take public healthcare patients. Everything else was up to the patient.

    #2: We have General Practitioners that handle ear aches and the like. GPs handle all non-emergency things. ER docs handle ER based things. They had 24 hour GPs as well, who were covered by socialized healthcare, and the wait line was shorter than Emergency. Triage nurses would advise those who were there for non-emergency reasons to go to a GP, or face waiting 6+ hours. GP’s, from my experience, at worst were a 30 minute wait.

    #3: That would be the “slack shit” part of society that I notice is more prevalent over here than back in Australia. It is still true; people with liver transplants getting hammered against doctor’s orders will still abuse it. Then there’s also people who after having a heart attack will change their lifestyles.

    #4: They do screw it up pretty badly in general. The Aussies got this one pretty ok. The medical staff have a pre-filled out form that we sign, they send it in, and 1 month later money appears in your bank account. Never had issues with it. The exception to this is hospital visits for true emergencies, e.g. heart attack, where they send you a bill, you tick a box saying you want to claim 100% on medicare, and everything is ok.

    #5: Definitely agree with this; there is a significantly high proportion of overseas doctors taking GP roles in Australia. The downside to this includes doctors refusing to prescribe the pill for religious/personal belief reasons. Doctors are very transparent about what they will and won’t do, and they make sure that people know this when booking an appointment.

    In general, GP’s handle the majority of the minor visits, and hospital staff handle true emergencies in Australia. The system is abused, as you would expect with a free system, but not nearly to the extent described by DeFens. E.g. the only time you’ll see a granny in ER is if she’s been mugged.

  3. I’m almost finished reading Ayn Rand’s “Return of the Primitive”, and it describes (from the 1970’s) a lot of what Joe’s saying in #3. A lot of people with an “I’m-as-good-as-you-even-though-I’m-not-really-but-give-me-my-free-medical-care-anyway-that-you-paid-taxes-for-and-I-didn’t” mentality.

    Even though Ayn Rand was a strict Objectivist (she invented that philosophy, and didn’t believe in superstition or religion), Heaven help us all.

    Ayn Rand. “Return of the Primitive”. A must-read author & book.

  4. You can bet your last dollar that in any questionnaire the feds have you fill out. It will ask if you have any firearms and if you do, you will not receive any health benefits until those medical risks (the firearms) are turned in.

  5. Ok, hold the phone. I have CHF with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Doctors think it may have come about as the result of a virus,( since it came on so suddenly and I had been passing all my employment physicals with flying colors even to within a few months of the onset) though I have worked many 90 to 100 hour weeks in my worklife which spanned a period of 51 years. A great deal of it was very hard physical work. In 2003, they gave me less than 2 weeks to live. I’m still here.

    Last year my wife was diagnosed with end stage COPD. We knew something was wrong with her but it took the medical professionals more than a year to discover what, incompetence, but no evil intent. Finally tried a different set and they found the problem in about 20 minutes. That year was the time frame in which we used more medical services than the rest of our lives put together.

    We are both terminal, but comfortable and living a decent if cash strapped life. We actually pay our medical bills. Slowly sometimes, but they get paid. The only procedure I have had since the intial intervention in 2003 has been to get a defib (I can still fib, not that kind of defib :)) installed. I didn’t want it, my cardiologist just kept at me to get it. Said due to ventricular tachycardia I was at risk for sudden cardiac death. My view of it was “Big Damn Deal, I’m dying anyway”

    Both of us are as active as we can be. Just today I shoveled rock and sand to repair my 520 ft. driveway after rain washed it out. Not done. Don’t have the stamina I used to have. Will work on it from can to can’t tomorrow, too.

    Neither of us have the “give me” attitude you described in #3 above. We have insurance which is fairly good, but even if our medical care was free (if we think it is expensive now, wait until it’s free) we would not clog up the system with unreasonable demands or pursuit of unearned benefits. We both avoid doctor’s visits as much as possible and never go to the emergency room. My wife has been twice in more twenty years, both were emergencies. I have been once in that time span.

    Please don’t generalize too much. There are a lot of really sick people out here who do not abuse the system, nor have any desire to do so.

    Other than that, I agree with you that nationalized health care will be a disaster for America. Even though, I will be gone and my wife most likely will too, we will be leaving people behind we don’t want to have to suffer under that disaster.

    As for nations that have socialized medicine and the problem of overuse of emergency rooms, that is probably the only way sick people can receive medical care while it is still useful to them, waiting lists being what they are under those systems, and those systems being the only game in town.

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