Playing with a bigot

Today I went to my hair appointment before I left Idaho and drove to the Seattle area bunker. The lady who was just finishing up in the chair next to me turned and said, “Hello Barbara Scott.”

We had a pleasant short conversation about Dixie where she is trying to sell a bar and house — a remote and beautiful part of Idaho. We briefly talked about Boomershoot and another long distance shooter she had read about in the Lewiston Tribune. After she left a man in expensive “casual” dress sat down.

While he was getting his silver grey hair cut, he started talking about his former student who he had seen working at Tri-State. Apparently this was a typical “Idaho boy” — his words — who was poorly motivated, not very smart, married by the time he was twenty, etc. My ears perked up.

“A typical Idaho boy?”, I said.

He said, “Oh, yes. A typical Idaho boy.”

“Well tell me about this, I am very interested”

He said, “Of course this is an East coast point of view.”

And he told me all about it repeating the “this is an East coast point of view” line several times.

I said, “That is fascinating! I’m just a physical therapist and I can’t wait to tell my husband and son who both work for Microsoft all about it. They’d like to hear about a “typical Idaho boy.”

He muttered again, “It’s just an East coast point of view.”

About that time his hair dresser who is another Idaho boy chimed in, “Well, I’ve got all my teeth.”

I congratulated him and said something like, “We just got our first indoor toilet last year and really like it!”

The conversation died. The man looked kind of truculent.

I was having fun with the conversation and was really disappointed because there was a great deal I hadn’t got to say. Like my son graduated Suma cume laude from college and he was a National Merit Scholar. My husband is an Idaho boy who has been written about in Newsweek, Outside Magazine, Idaho Magazine, Motorcyclist magazine, and has been on television and radio several times. And my brother is a professor at Loyola in Chicago and I would have liked to have mentioned all the savvy men who like to work in lower stress jobs in the Idaho paradise where they can spend their off time hunting and fishing instead of spending hours commuting to work. But that’s just an Idaho point of view.

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.