December 15, 2017

What would we lose?

Here are a couple of anecdotes about what our health care has been. First from a few month ago, here’s the Optimistic Conservative:

My mother went in for cataract surgery on both eyes earlier this summer.  She was able to elect to have this surgery now, even though she was not blind yet in either eye – unlike seniors in Britain.  Both surgeries went beautifully, and featured advanced procedures that included the insertion of lenses to improve her vision overall.  Mom lives in Oklahoma City, and is on Medicare supplemented by some rather expensive “Medi-Gap” insurance she pays for herself.

During the first surgery, her heart monitor detected an arrhythmia that led to further tests, including an angiogram, with a cardiologist; and he determined in July that she would need a bypass for both chambers of the left side of her heart.  She will be having that surgery tomorrow.  She is otherwise in very good health, at a few weeks shy of her 70th birthday, and has been ambivalent about this whole process because, other than tiring easily, she has been having no apparent symptoms of obstructed blood flow from the heart.  But the standard of American medicine is to address a problem like this when it is caught.

Her children are glad it was caught, and that she can have a bypass now, and better prospects for at least 20 more years with us, instead of 10 or 5.  Dealing with it early improves Mom’s prospects for full recovery and high quality of life, as well.  Moreover, unlike Canada’s or the national health systems of Europe, America’s medical system is able to get her in for a bypass in 18 days from the angiogram that told the cardiologist she would need one.  (The Optimistic Conservative will be heading for Oklahoma City early next week to accompany Mom home, and stay with her for the monitoring period after her release from the hospital.)

She has two other stories that are well worth reading.

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From today, Karen Avrech remembers her son, Ariel:

I know that with more government control there will be more poorly trained staff. There will be less choice. There will be rationing. Second opinions will be a rarity.

Ariel needed a stem cell transplant because he had a recurrence. At first the insurance company denied the transplant. The doctors on the committee thought it was too risky. We hired a lawyer and he was accepted. All it took was one letter.

Ariel lived six more years.

What would have happened under Obamacare?

According to the bill’s champions more people would be covered by insurance. The question is whether Americans will be getting the same level of care. They likely won’t and will pay more for less.