Insurance and broken bones
by BRETT MARINO
This past week, Jennings had the privilege of hosting two town hall meetings with its Congressional Representative, Charles Boustany, and State Senator, David Vitter. Both Republican leaders spoke on many topics, but the issue that took the forefront of conversation is the raging debate over healthcare.
Many in the Republican party, including Boustany, Vitter and our governor, Bobby Jindal, are prepared to defund the legislation even to the point of shutting d,own the government, though all these men hope it will not come down to that.
To attempt to dissect the maze and matrixes of the Obamacare legislation to show that it will or will not be the worst thing for our country, as these gentlemen have stated, is not the purpose of this column.
The purpose of the column is to talk about healthcare. According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, healthcare is “the practice concerned with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease.” The Webster Dictionary includes “usually by a licensed practitioner.”
Let’s talk about Webster’s inclusion of a licensed practitioner first. Several years back I broke my hand. I was working during the accident, but not on the job, and I also didn’t have insurance (I was one of those young invincibles they talk about in the healthcare debate, and yes, since then I have become older, wiser and insured).
I thought the emergency room would be too expensive, so I went to a specialized doctor’s office and took a seat in the waiting room. A couple hours later and a couple of nails later, I walked up to his checkout counter and was hit with a bill for seven grand. There was nothing I could do, my hand was fixed and my savings vanished, plus I had to start paying back the credit card I used because I didn’t have enough in the bank. Before the broken hand, I thought I was handling money rather well. But one broken bone later, I was in debt.
How could this be? The doctor simply gave me an hour of his time, a couple of nails, and a cast; surely the price of the procedure did not reflect the true cost.
The answer lies in the hidden costs of our healthcare system. Doctors cannot refuse patients, so my payment helped the doctor’s burden of treating many others who could not or refused payment after treatment. Second, and just as crucial if not more, the cost of insurance for malpractice is outrageous for medical practitioners. Currently, lawyers are bringing so many malpractice suits to court that doctors are forced to insure themselves in preparation for a lawsuit, driving up the prices for the people.
The point is the healthcare system was bunked before Obamacare, and because of it, I went into debt. The reason Obamacare was passed in the first place was because the democrats were the only ones to suggest a plan on how to fix the massive problem we currently face.
I am no proponent of Obamacare. The sound of government healthcare makes my stomach turn, but the way to convince the country to defund Obamacare, is to convince the young invincible that the Republican platform can support and organize an affordable health care solution.
At the end of the day, health care is more on the back of the individual and the community than it is on the government. Each person needs to take more care of their own livelihood, instead of relying on huge pharmaceutical and medical systems to alleviate minor maladies. Things like blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, weight problems, and (shall I say it) even some cancers can be cured by changing one’s diet. Education in proper consumerism could make tremendous waves in the overall health of our society. It would also be nice if more people were educated enough to repair bone fractures and treat such things as minor burns without also having to become a full doctor with full insurance policies.
The knowledge to make our society healthier and more functional is there, but its up to the people first – and then the government – to make the change.
Short URL: http://www.jenningsdailynews.net/?p=22100