It is imperative for us to limit our military spending so that we can make more resources available for the health care system in this country, and educate more doctors and other medical personnel. I don't mind sharing medical resources with fellow Americans, but as resources are limited we will all suffer a great deal of pain. Consider the pain!
Ray and I usually get along very well, but we really blew up at one another today, a severe setback for both of us given our poor state of health. But it wasn't his fault, and it wasn't my fault either. It was entirely the fault of our medical care system, which has become overly burdensome. It has triggered our upset and worsening ill health while our medical system is working against us.
Life in general: Greedy capitalists attack daily. It isn't enough to have to work twenty minutes a day going through the spam on our emails to be sure we don't throw away the important things. And it's just as bad going through all the sh*t that comes in our local mailbox to be sure we don't throw away anything important. And doing the budgeting and paying bills each month also takes its toll. Think, too, about all the paper work involved in just about everything we do, especially for supplemental insurance and keeping track of prescription insurance where we now have big penalties to pay if we don't have it .But worse is trying to cope with our medical care system, adding to our health problems. Most of these things are confusing for elderly people, especially where some senility has already set in.
It is not only harder and harder to get appointments with our doctors; even their nurse practitioners have a busy schedule. WE wait weeks to see the nurse practitioners and months to get an appointment with the doctors. So looks like we end up going to the hospital.
Most of our problems stem from poor organization of the Banner Health Care System here in Phoenix. Before the Affordable Care Act, we didn't have so many problems as we have now in getting appointments. At this time, however, it appears they cannot keep up with all the paper work required by INSURANCE COMPANIES.
A major bottleneck in the system is in passing on referrals from a primary doctor to a specialist. The doctor gives the referral to someone in the office to be faxed over to the specialist. Most of the time the referral never arrives to the specialists' office, or, if it does, the specialists' offices do not get it. When we call for an appointment based on our belief that the referral was sent, we get the message from the specialist that they did not get the referral. At this point it becomes our obligation to go back to the doctor to find out what the heck happened. This usually takes a lot of time on the phone, waiting 20 to 30 minutes on the line, and then talking with someone who tells us...... well, let me see. After another long wait on the line we find out it was going to be sent again. So we wait another 5 days and try again. Eventually we get the appointment.
Another bottleneck is the scheduling. The doctors are almost always booked up for several months and their nurse practitioners are almost always booked up for several weeks. WE don't have enough doctors or nurse practitioners in our health care system. We've had this problem for decades and have done nothing about it, except recruiting more foreign doctors who also end up being too busy to see us. (When I called My Dr. Chokshi end of January he was booked until mid-April and his nurse practitioner was booked until March 9.)
Just imagine what life will be like if we have Medicare for all. WE still don't have a system in place to handle the load we have. How are we going to handle the load this will bring?
As I write this my hands are trembling and I am very sick. I need to see a doctor right away as I am having a serious digestive problem. I will have to go to the hospital. I have doubts I will get care I need at the hospital.
Last month Ray had chest pains and went to the hospital. Instead of doing X-ray and other tests at the hospital, they sent him out on his own to an outside place for only an x-ray. When his primary doctor found out about that he was infuriated. He said the doctor should have done a brain scan and an ultra-sound of his carotid artery right there in the hospital. So he had to send him out to a facility for that. We don't know results yet.
Meanwhile, we share the few resources we have, but quite frankly I thought veterans had their own hospitals and medical care? Seems like they are doing better now with "Obama Care."
Some folks complain all the time that Canadian Health Care is inferior because of the timeliness problems they have. Well, we have them too, and it is not getting better.
The best potential for solution is getting the insurance companies out of the health care business. A great interview about the problem and potential solutions was recently conducted by Truth Dig columnist Chris Hedges "On Contact" with Dr. Margaret Flowers, a Baltimore-based pediatrician and congressional fellow with Physicians for a National Health Program. See Chris Hedges and Dr. Margaret Flowers Discuss How to Fix the Health Care System (Video) - Truthdig . 12.2 million people signed up for #AffordableCareAct despite its uncertainty.
Healthcare reform will continue to be a hot topic in 2017.