A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Earlier this week I went in for a doctor’s appointment. This was a regularly scheduled visit I must make every 4 to 6 weeks. I have been availing myself of this doctor’s services since the late 1960’s. But - on this visit, as I weighed-in and signed-in, I was asked to produce my drivers license!
I was stunned, frankly! I had not expected this. Being one of the old mossbacks who believes that “the less government the better” is the ONLY way, I protested vigorously, loudly, and profusely - and, I am somewhat embarrassed to say, used some language I learned in the military and haven’t used since those long ago days - before I remembered I am a Southern Gentleman, and got hold of myself.
I inquired of the receptionist what could a driver’s license possibly have that my DNA, which, I assume, they already have on file, didn’t have? Taken aback at my – ahem - robust defense of my privacy, the receptionist hastily assured me she didn’t make the rules. It was, she said, a new HIPA(A) ruling and there was nothing she could do about it.
In the event you do not know what the letters H I P A stand for - it is the Health Information Privacy Act of 1999 . You should be able to click on the name and go right to a site that will provide you with some info on it. If not, then clicking on this one should: Health Information Protection Act .
As I said, I realize I am an old mossback about such things as the government, or anyone, for that matter knowing entirely too much about me.
I am a private person. I like it that way. I am extremely uncomfortable with social networking sites. That is why you do not see me on those sites. I also realize we have, at least, one generation that grew up on computers and have no problem with laying their whole lives out, on the net, for one and all to see and snoop around in. Believe me when I tell you - I AM NOT WIRED THAT WAY!
I could not help but compare the HIPA rules with what I expect to be a morass of rules and regulations when ObamaCare is eventually installed nationwide… if we don’t kill it while it is yet aborning!
Less than 20 minutes before this encounter I had been sitting here, at the keyboard, working on a piece about socialized medicine in the US and how it is, in my opinion, a government power-grab at the cost of not only our money, as taxpayers, but our privacy as well. In the space of only a few minutes I had been thrust into the dreaded government-run healthcare system I had just been opining about in my commentary, which was still, at that moment, under construction! It was as if I had entered the “Twilight Zone!”
The confrontation between the receptionist and myself lasted only a few minutes and I never got an answer as to what a NC Driver’s License had that my DNA, which they already had on file, did not have! I was still fuming as I drove home. It was during that short commute that it became clear. A photograph. My DNA did not have a photograph. My Driver’s License does. It was a photo ID they were after, preferably a “likeness” that my state certified was, in fact, me.
You can imagine, I suppose, how much disdain I am going to have for government-run healthcare… ObamaCare.
A few days ago I was aghast at an article in one of my regional newspapers, which stated that the “wait time” at the ER room (Emergency Department) of a regional hospital near me was - 12 hours. I had to fuss and fume at least one full day about that until, until, I read that, in Canada, the AVERAGE waiting time, in any Emergency Department in the country is - 23 HOURS! Oh, yes! And Canada has the much-vaunted nationalized healthcare, or as we refer to it - socialized medicine.
A few years ago, I had the fortune, good or bad, to be cared for by an RN from Canada during one of my nearly 70 hospitalizations The hospital was experiencing some personnel difficulties and had made arrangements with some nurses, registered and otherwise, from Canada. At shift change, the RN came around an introduced herself and we struck up a light conversation. She mentioned that she was from Canada. It was then that I asked her for her opinion of Canada’s socialized medicine now that she had worked in the American healthcare system. Her reply was – to quote: “IT SUCKS!” She made this remark about the healthcare system of her own country, one in which she, as a registered nurse, was employed! That settled it for me.
Recently, John Stossel exposed the flaws in the Canadian and British government-run health care systems. There is an excellent article on that report
HERE. We recommend you take a couple (or three) minutes and read it.
We Americans are told time and time again that the healthcare system in America is broken and ObamaCare is the way to fix it. Well, as the Congress and the Obama Administration are learning, much to their chagrin, the American people are not convinced that our healthcare system is broken. We have a “For Profit” system. That means the costs for healthcare will be high. We know that. It is profit driven. Much of that profit goes right back into research and development of new drugs and new treatments and new equipment to be used in those treatments in conjunction with those new drugs. We are, at least, we WERE a capitalist nation, before Obama. Healthcare delivery in America is a business and businesses must make a profit for its owners and shareholders else it goes out of business. NOBODY IS IN BUSINESS TO DO YOU AND I A FAVOR! They are in business to make money! Not to put to fine a point on it, but - I say again - Healthcare Delivery in America is a business! Without the “profit motive” all those wonderful lifesaving devices, and drugs, and treatments would not exist. I know that is not “a warm and fuzzy thing” to say, but it is the truth and the truth is rarely warm and certainly not fuzzy!
ObamaCare has no “Profit Motive.” It will be a government-run healthcare delivery system. YOU will be little more than a number. In all likelihood, the medical equipment used in your treatment will come from the “low bidder.” Chances are - the drugs used in your treatment will come from the pharmaceutical company offering them to the government at the lowest price. As my sainted mother used to say: “You get what you pay for!”
ObamaCare is NOT the answer. If there is a problem it is with the 46 or 47 million uninsured in America. First, determine whom, exactly, those people are. Determine why they have no insurance. If they don’t want it, then leave them ALONE! If they are illegal aliens, then cross them off the list - entirely. They never should have been included in the first place! Now we are down to those who cannot afford it. THOSE are the people we can help obtain healthcare. With that, the healthcare problem in America is solved.