I think one reason that the notion that you’ll spend your life on a waiting list under universal health care in the U.S. is that it appeals to experience we have all had. Not all of us. From adulthood until I was about 30, I never had any interaction with the health-care industry at all. In the past 10 years, I’ve spent more time in doctor’s offices, hospitals and pharmacies than I care to think about. I’m guessing I’ve logged 1000 hours or more in a health-related setting. And, I’m guessing about 10 of those hours I or the person I was with was actually being treated. That’s not to mention the waits I or the person I was with had to deal with in scheduling primary care appointments to begin with. So “waiting lists” are something we can relate to – and none of us care to spend more time on.

I guess it doesn’t help that the two major English speaking universal health care systems are rumored to be worse than the U.S. in this regard (sometimes accurately, other times – not so much).

It’s unfortunate that the proposed system will not likely emulate the best working systems in the world. And it is good to guard against any potential increase in waiting times on essential care, should they begin to crop up as an unintended consequence of a new system.

But it’s wrong to slap a label of “slow” on anything universal. Our own system is slow compared to the best universal systems.

6 comments to Waiting…

  • I am so fortunate that I do not have to deal with the health care industry at all. I had what my friend and I jokingly refer to as my mild heart attack on the disc golf course. I think it turned out to be some kind of panic attack or something. Damned if I know what it was. It wound up costing me about $5,000 to have a doctor tell me, “there might be something wrong with you but it damn sure ain’t your heart”.

    I feel terrible for folks who are caught up in that vortex. My in-laws automatically come to mind. Last month my wife spent 7 days taking them back and forth to various doctors and that was not the only appointments they had. It was just the appointments that she was able to carry them to.

    Thankfully they already have socialized medicine.

  • Fifty large for a panic attack? I hope your doc gives out free lollipops or something.

  • The panic attack is my diagnosis.

    The five large was for the stress test and the MRI or whateverthehell it was that determined that my heart was definitely not the problem.

    20 minutes on a treadmill. 45 minutes in this gizmo that circled me while taking a picture of my heart. One hour and five minute = 5 large.

    But it was not all bad. Since I had met my deductible I decided to go ahead and get that tube shoved up my ass so they could check my colon. I think that turned out to be a couple of thousand but I was already into the insurance at that point. Of the 12 grand annually that health care costs I got a couple of it back.

    Damn wonder they didn’t drop me.

  • Helluva a thing. Except for a brief and as yet unexplained bout with seizures I haven’t had to have much attention myself personally. But I’ve got a family with some chronic stuff in it.

    Side note… Medicare bought my dinner last week. That don’t happen much & they get their $$ worth out of me, but I can’t help but feel good about sticking it to the man for a plate full of chicken and Saxby’s sauce.

  • RW

    Buck, back in ’93 I had a 40 minute MRI on my knee & they asked for a down payment at that moment: $800. Of course, I left my wallet full of hundred dollar bills in my Bentley (don’t we all hate when we do that) and only had my trusty Discover card on me at the time. After that, the surgery had to be paid for (HMO) and we were quickly five figures on one stinking credit card. Took, IIRC, 6 years to pay off. So….been there.

    I didn’t have that much of a problem with the cost of the procedure, those things and their operators don’t pay for themselves, but the – I think – $300 I had to pay the “technician” to look at the results & tell me that I had all sorts of torn ligaments (the inability to walk and the melon sized knee already had that probability around 99.9% goint in) kinda chapped me. I’m a professional, so I know professionals are well above ‘scale’ and all that, but 15 seconds to look at an MRI? I could’ve gotten the best looking hooker on the world for longer than that at that price.

    but I can’t help but feel good about sticking it to the man

    Since you are working & thus probably pay into Medicare, you stuck it to yourself. :)

    I know the feeling, though.

  • Since you are working & thus probably pay into Medicare, you stuck it to yourself.

    Oh yeah. The most expensive chicken with Saxby sauce you have ever had in your life :-)

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