Sunday, August 2, 2009

Stepping out of My Box

Okay, so I'm taking a little step a giant leap out of my "comfort zone" by posting this. Since I'm normally a complacent, non-confrontational, agreeable, apolitical sort, I'm a little surprised at myself that I'm feeling the pull to post about this.

Forgive me if I don't articulate myself well (and if this gets a little, um, long), I don't mean to offend or annoy anyone.


Let it be said that I fully admit that I am not as educated as I should be about "current events". I typically have three sources for political information:
1. My uber conservative husband
2. The limited media I look at (more on that later), and
3. Well, okay, so really there's just two.

Recently, at work, a co-worker and I somehow got to discussing the much talked about "universal health care bill". Now, for me to even discuss something remotely political is unusual...well, unheard of, really. But, she brought it up to me and a discussion began about, "how do you feel about this"?

We had barely started when one of the OB/GYN's walked up, and my co-worker asked her, "What do you think about this?" I think she (my co-worker) got a little more than she expected...at least I did!

This OB/GYN is married to an orthopedic surgeon, she stated, "My husband tells me he does a hip (replacement) on an 85 year old every weekend he works."

It was in her opinion that this is a waste of resources, that because of the age of the patient, they shouldn't have this procedure. She told us that when a person loses mobility, most pass away within a year and "we'd just be helping them put one foot in the grave".


Ahem...WHAT!!

She also went on to say that there are some breast cancer treatments that cost $50,000 and save very few people...again, a waste of resources in her mind. It was at this point that my gag reflex started acting up and I had to get up and walk away (I told you, I'm not comfortable with confrontation...and besides, she's my personal doctor), so I politely excused myself from the conversation and let my co-worker and her hash it out.

I'm like that.


OB/GYN also told us, that in England (is this true Brit's?) they have a $40,000 cap on what "they" will pay for health care costs, anything above and beyond that, needs to be petitioned to a board.

I have a close friend who almost lost her baby to Group B Strep Sepsis (nearly lost as in, he was vented on an oscillator--which is a ventilator for very critical patients--was in multiple organ failure, retaining soooo much fluid that it was estimated that her 7 pound baby weighed between 10-12 pounds).

This little man beat every odd against him (including contracting the GBS in the first place!) and is perfect.

His bill for just his hospital stay (no doctor's charges, no lab fees, no medications) was over $300,000. At what point would they have had to "petition" to a board to continue to try to save their baby's life?


Do I think health care costs are astronomical? Yes.

Do I think insurance companies hold too much power? Yes.

But I also feel quite certain that "universal health care" is not our answer.

Do I know what "our answer" is? Nope, I don't, and I'm pretty sure congress doesn't either!

I recently learned (through the media) of a congressman who was asked if he had read the bill for the healthcare reform.

His response? "No! It's 1,000 pages long!"

Um, well, sir...that's your job. Perhaps, if 1,000 pages is too long read, you should shoot for every other page (or, perhaps if a bill is 1,000 pages, maybe it's too complicated?)...you know, get the general gist of the content (or something) before you vote on it...just sayin'.


With that said, what I hear/read in media reports doesn't always hold a lot for me.

For one thing, the media is (IMO) generally very liberal in it's content.

I've also learned, first hand, how the media gets their information. When our state had a devastating school shooting in a small town, one of the vicitms happened to be a patient at the hospital I work at...I happened to be working Peds a lot when he was there.

I observed the "chain of command" in which television and newspaper sources obtained their information.

It went something like this: the media contacted the hospital's media spokesperson, who contacted the unit director, who contacted the charge nurse, who contacted the doctor, who told the charge nurse the condition of the patient, the charge nurse told the director, who told the spokesperson, who told the media.

No lie.

For another thing, it's like this song's lyrics: When you trust your television/What you get is what you got/‘Cuz’ when they own the information oh,/They can bend it all they want...(actually, that whole song is how I feel, right now, even tho' I know it was written during the Bush era).

So true, dontcha think?

Conservative or liberal (Fox or CNN), I have a hard time swallowing the information that I'm fed, I know I'm not being told the whole story.


And friends, I have this horrible fear clutching my heart.

I fear that the foundation of our country, that America's "greatness", is slowly slipping away, sifting through our fingers like a fine sand.

I fear that our military, past and present, will have fought for our rights and our freedom in vain.

I fear for the day when my amazing grandma will be denied her plasmaphoresis (a treatment for the Myasthenia Gravis that she suffers from) because she's "too old", or my grandpa (who's healthier than most 30 year olds) will be denied a hip replacement because of his age.

I fear that our government is starting to have too much control.

I fear that this great country is forgetting September 11th.


Wowza!! All that for a healthcare reform post? Sheesh.

Guess I'll step back into my box now and quietly close the lid...


10 comments:

  1. I'm a registered Democrat on a high deductible plan (poor coverage) and I totally agree with you! Our government does very little with excellence and I would NOT want the government in charge of my healthcare and the healthcare of my loved ones!!! It's insane! Yes we need reform but we do NOT need Universal Healthcare!

    good for you for voicing your opinion--proud of you Mama M :)
    Tara

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  2. It is impossible to attempt to discuss just one topic that concerns the actions of the government, particularly these days. We should ALL be worried.

    VERY worried.

    Lucy

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  3. Good for you!!!! Speaking out and letting the Government know we are NOT GOING to give up our freedoms is the only way to save this great country and OUR AMAZING HEALTH CARE system. Not a perfect system by any means... but its still the best in the world and saves many lives!!!!

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  4. Its nice to hear someone stand up for what they think! Go Girl! Lucy and Ethel.. Your right, we should ALL be worried for out country!

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  5. I could totally go out on a limp too and say I could just come out of the computer and HUG you right now. I totally agree with you. Do I have an answer for our country...no! I don't like comfrontation but I do know that I have reached the British cap each year...amazing how other countries deal with their health system!

    No system is perfect but I chose to vote no to universal health care!
    ~Elyse

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  6. Good for you! I have to agree. Our healthcare system is costly, but the less our goverment gets involved...the better.

    I got to your blog by way of MckMama's blogfrog. Comments are fun! :) Oh, and a peds and L&D nurse...awesome! When I work outside the home, I do so as an occupational therapist with adults and children.

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  7. Hooray, hooray, hooray!!! I've followed you for some time now ( I like the way you talk), and I must say you are now a new hero of mine!!! Hooray!

    I am sooo afraid for my children's futures, I can't even go there. My friend lives in Britan, and she has a distant friend who was dx'ed with cancer, and needed surgery to live more than 6 months...but wouldnt' be approved or available for surgery for 2 years. Funny, huh? (not at all!) We have a high deductable policy, and doesn't doesn't cover much, but WE are in control of the decision making- not the government!

    One question: NO government (republican or democrat) had proven to me that they can be 100% responsible with my tax payer dollars. WHY would we want to give them more?!?!?!

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  8. I just happened upon your blog (for the first time) today. Needless to say, I will now bookmark you. This entry couldn't have been written any better. I hope your OB/GYN reads your blog, and inparticular, this entry. Kudos to you - I couldn't have said it better myself. :-)

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  9. I'm SO there! My son's NICU stay was $230,000 and that didn't count labs, surgeries, procedures and radiology either. Our blood tests (just the labs for cross match) for kidney donation cost $3500 for EACH donor. I guess we'd just get shoved aside since we have well met our quota.

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  10. I was poking around your blog and found this. Way to go Mama M. If you want I'll send you a soapbox. You look very nice up there, in a bloggy sort of way.

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I love comments! And, I welcome your thoughts that aren't in agreement with mine...as long as they are respectful!

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