Health Care Countdown: We’ve heard all the arguments for and against the passage of a universal health care program, but the one I like best is the one that passed through the email circuits and pointed out that we do not have a “health-care crisis, but a culture crisis.” This one I believe from first-hand experience. Recently, I ended up In the emergency room with a deep cut to the finger that required some stitching. I was seated near the reception desk and observed the others who were coming into the emergency room. I watched as one couple drove up in a big, black SUV. A woman in her mid thirties got out carrying a Coach purse and talking on a Blackberry. She was impeccably dressed in expensive shoes and coat. When she went to the reception desk, she complained of a stomach ache. When the intake nurse asked for her insurance information, she said, “I am on Medicare” and reached into her Coach purse and whipped out a Medicare card. Later, her husband joined her, also talking on a Blackberry and wearing an expensive jogging suit and designer athletic shoes.
Before I was taken back to triage, I observed five people who came to the desk and registered for care. Three were non-English speaking and reported through an interpreter, who had been called to the desk, that they had no insurance. I did note, however, that they were all carrying cell phones. One of them went outside to smoke. The other two were Americans, younger than sixty-five by about twenty years, carrying cell phones, well-dressed, and reporting their insurance as Medicare. I realize that my experience is just a microcosm of the national picture, but I couldn’t help being angered that I was paying for the health care for people who were younger than me, who were dressed more expensively than me, and who had a better cell phone than mine!
I can appreciate the desire of our current President to pass the healthcare bill. Passage of the bill would give him up-man-ship over the previous Democrat President and give the Democrats something to crow about! I don’t believe, however, that the effort being spent on the healthcare legislation is effort well-spent. I know that there are families who have lost their jobs and their insurance. I also know that insurance isn’t cheap—I’ve been paying for it for years! But, I think that these families would rather have their jobs back than some bureaucratic albatross in the form of insurance. My message to Congress—defeat this legislation and work on the economic crisis! Put people back to work so they can afford insurance. Investigate unfair practices in the insurance industry and nail the perpetrators by yanking their license to sell!
As an aside—I recently had dinner with two people from Canada who loudly proclaimed that they hate their insurance program. One had been waiting six months for back surgery and the other crosses into the US to get health care!