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home : opinion : letters to the editor March 26, 2015

6/12/2014 9:35:00 AM
Health Care

Editor, Times-Union:
A retired old boy like me gets around the Midwest. Here’s one of my latest real experiences I must get off my chest.
A day or two ago I had occasion to be waiting in a medical facility inner hallway for a test appointment. I was standing within three feet while a doctor and two medical administration professionals were having a frank discussion about how to speed up the time the doctor spends with each patient. Most of this need is due to Obamacare and the new computerized medical reporting system keyboard our doctors now peck on while you are being “examined.”
In other words: The business folks were there to determine how to cut the time spent per patient, increase the number of patients per day, and, therefore, generate more income per day. After all, they had to add more than one person just to fill out the paper/computer system to meet a new requirement the doctor must prove certain steps were taken during patient visits. That’s right: His word and dictation into the computer are apparently not enough for the bureaucratic rule makers. No matter all of the “process” takes even more of his time.
Oh, yes, you did read that correctly.
One of the two business folks caught my eye. (I don't have a poker face, you see.) She grinned broadly, waived and mouthed something like, “Never mind.”
Now, anyone who knows me understands full well that is tantamount to an invitation for me to join the discussion, but I know my place. I continued to simply listen while my blood boiled and my temperature increased. I am proud of the doctor. The physician calmly explained situations change, patients are different, and 50 other logically valid reasons things were as good as they were going to get and still allow him to serve his patients’ medical needs properly and the way he intended when he first decided to be a doctor. He stood firm and much more calmly than I could have handled.
Think carefully, now, about the “one-size-fits-all” Obamacare edicts, check-mark computerization, and more than 20,000 or so new regulations to implement the “Affordable Care Act.” Consider, also, the current shameful “goal oriented” VA medical system, about which we are learning more every day. In my view, the federal governmental bureaucracy would foul up a one-vehicle parade line-up.
Here is why government cannot run any healthcare system of any kind: You cannot legislate human emotional behavior, or medical care, because both are extraordinarily personal and individual. Period.
Yes, it is just that simple.
We can legislate speed limits, building codes, jay-walking, even spitting on the sidewalk, but you can’t legislate medical care. We are all different!
Our differences are manifested more completely in our physiology than in any other way. As a result, medicine is never an exacting science. Our physicians should be permitted to treat our ailments the best they know how, and our veterans should be allowed to seek compensated care from any medical professional or any medical facility, public or private, wherever they can.
...but, that’s just me.
Dan Lee
Warsaw, via email

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