Both my wife and I currently have private health insurance coverage paid partly by our employers. For the first 25 years of our marriage we only ever had a single policy that covered the entire family. For some unknown reason my wife decided one December to sign up for a policy that only covered herself. Now she was covered by two policies. A little over a month after signing up she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Naturally we wanted the best care (she is an RN). We got second opinions and went through biopsies, surgery, chemotherapy, a brief hospitalization, radiation treatments and many follow up visits. We were never turned down for any treatment and only ever had to pay the small co-payments (the beauty of two insurances).  The doctors treated her quickly and we never felt that we weren’t receiving the best care possible. I know we are blessed (our father owns the cattle on a thousand hills), but nothing you can say will convince me that we don’t have the best healthcare in the world.

My wife works at a “safety net” hospital. They do a lot of charity care. People walk into the hospital without any insurance (or the means to pay) and they receive excellent care. Our 23 year old son had an accident recently and needed to make a visit to the emergency room. He has no health insurance and he’s too old to be covered by our policies. He needed some stitches and because he banged his head, they did a lot of tests including a CAT scan. He applied for charity care and paid just a few hundred dollars. Our town has a health clinic that is open to anyone who needs help. They will do checkups and immunizations for children as well as other routine care. They do charge a small fee of ten dollars or so. Can someone please tell me how the government is going to improve on what we have now?

My sister in law has a Canadian friend who had a very treatable case of thyroid cancer. This treatment has almost become routine and the survival rates are excellent (over 95% in the USA). She was able to have her cancer treated by the socialized healthcare system of Canada and is now cancer free (score one for socialized medicine). Shortly after her cancer treatment she had some problems with her knee and needed surgery or a replacement. The health advisory panel or whatever they have wouldn’t approve the knee surgery because she had cancer. Why waste money on someone who may die soon? After 5 or 6 years of suffering had passed, the panel decided that maybe she was cured and could have her knee repaired after all. Please don’t try to tell me that this won’t happen here (and much worse) if the government takes over. I fear for old people who will be at the whim of these panels regarding their healthcare – why waste money on someone who is old and may die soon? There are several logical steps that follow this one if you think about it.

I have a friend who makes a very good living as a carpenter. He chooses not to buy his family health insurance. The gamble seemed to be paying off  until he got very sick and needed open heart surgery. He really needed some help. He went to a nearby hospital and received charity care – no cost. I think he does volunteer work for them now and probably makes some donations or does some fundraising, but his treatment was free. How’s that for a healthcare system that ‘needs’ to be thrown away and scrapped?

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