Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Broken System

Health care is all in the news, mostly over the Affordable Health Care Act (what some foolishly call Obamacare). Mostly the complaining is about cost and money, because that is, after all, the god we worship in the U.S.A.

But the system is completely broken *because* it is all about money here. Doctors do not heal. They don't even fix. They aren't even taught how to think about fixing or curing. If a pill doesn't fix you, you are in big trouble in this country.

A long time ago, before money became the mantra and the buzzword of this world, doctors did try to heal you up. They tried to find the problems and they worked for some sort of solution to ensure some type of quality of life.

Is quality of life even a consideration anymore? I don't think it is - it's more about how much money someone has and how long they can drain you dry.

Thirty years ago, when you went to the emergency room with some sort of intangible problem, you were admitted and doctors worked tests and looked at you until a solution was found. Today, you go to the emergency room and if you aren't dying, they send you home. Nobody bothers to figure out the problem. They decide you will live another day and send you to your primary care doctor.

Your primary care doctor doesn't know how to cure you. All he or she knows how to do is hand out an antibiotic and a blood pressure pill and that's about it.* So that doctor sends you on round after round of "specialists." These doctors see you as a hand, or a foot, a set of lungs, or a colon.

None of the doctors see you as a whole person. They don't care what you do with your day, or how you spend your time, or if anyone at all loves you and would have a broken heart if they lost you. To them you're just a body part and a dollar sign.

Am I being unfair? Am I not giving these good people enough credit for wanting to cure people? Yes, I am being unfair. This is the system as it is now and it is the system we as a society have accepted for reasons that I cannot fathom. Apparently we think it is fine that health care revolves around not care but money. And any system that revolves around money and not people is inherently unfair and always will be. The health care system is not fair and hasn't been since insurance companies became part of the picture and then began playing doctor.

Why is it okay for some 18-year-old on an insurance company's payroll to question the wisdom of these mighty healers? When did this become an acceptable practice? Why does cost matter so much than a life? Why does that stupid green dollar bill have more value than I do, a thinking, feeling flesh-and-blood, completely irreplaceable person?

Everyone whines about the Affordable Health Care Act like it has caused the problem, but all the AHCA had done is place a very tiny little bandage on an incredibly broken system. Our premiums have been going up and the coverage down for 25 years, before Obama was even out of college. The AHCA isn't going to change anything. Only a change in attitudes and a change in the heart of this evil, rotten, demented society we have created will change things. I don't see that happening as long as we stand at the altar of the great god of capitalism.

I want a health care system that cares about people first. I want a nation and a world that cares about people first. I don't want to live in the "best state for business" I want to live in the best state for people. I want to live in a world where the air we breathe matters, where having "stuff" is secondary to who we are, and who we are as a society are a mass of individuals who have great empathy and a little sympathy with one another.

Screw the almighty dollar and the health care system that only cares about you if you have money. There has to be a better way. We're smart people. So why do we act so stupid?

*Added later: I like my primary care doctor and think she does a good job. But because of the way the system is set up, I don't think she can do the job like she would like to. I trust her as my primary care doctor, but the system penalizes us both for wanting to make me better, in my opinion.


  1. I've found I can learn more from the Internet than I can from my primary care physician. At least I can find the latest studies online.

  2. Good post, Anita. It's ridiculous that medicines and procedures should cost so much more in this country than they do anywhere else. And then they wonder why seniors take bus trips to Canada and Mexico to fill prescriptions, or why people fly to South America for surgeries that cost three or four times more here.

  3. Range away, Anita. We have not seen a GP doctor since moving from NJ. We meet with a wonderful nurse practitioner twice a year and she always takes time to address our concerns and listen without rushing. Too many doctors seem quick to prescribe meds that may not be needed and possibly cause more problems.

  4. You speak for many of us! We're on our 4th General Practitioner in 11 years. I've given up thinking that one will be different. They all operate the same way- an antibiotic if it's an infection, otherwise they send you on your way to a "specialist". Don't GP's know anything any more?! Must it cost $3000 to tell me what I don't have?
    The last health issue I was having, I treated myself after exhausting the "specialists". Thanks to Blessed Maine Herbs.

  5. BABY BYE (meaning, sho nuf right) I so love this article, I just want to copy it to boards everywhere. I too have chosen alternative medicine because the health care field has gone further than the way side. I was not going to stand around and watch my daughter wither away with constant test, drugs and test and drugs. a few years ago we starting going to a Chinese herbalist then I decided to do more research and alternative medicine with a complete lifestyle diet change was the answer. My mother diabeties: no medicine and she has not taken any in four years, my aunt, no more dialysis and above all my uncle who was dying by doctor rule almost ten years ago is here with us today. Nope, ain't n body got time for this health care system. Great article. I'm super blessed, come by my blog for my Thursday 13 and find out why.


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