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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

There was a letter in the local paper decrying the evil of "socialized medicine." Since that letter appeared there have been a few follow-up replies. Those responding seem to feel that no system could be worse than what our country currently offers. They point out that we as a nation spend 15% of our gross national product on health care, far more than any other industrialized country in the world (those bad socialist countries France and England are 10% and 8% respectively), but that our care is currently lagging behind the rest of the world (107 health disease deaths per 100,000 people versus 40 in France). One guy pointed out that the health care that our wonderful public servants currently have is actually government administered...that is, socialist. Wonder why they did that? Maybe they figured they didn't want to be hassled with prior authorization requests and formulary changes. Maybe they just figured that this terrific system of private insurance companies (the American way, after all) was getting too complicated. And then maybe they just wanted a health care system that worked.

As a dispenser of medicine there is one redeeming virtue to the current crisis: I get to yell at the insurance bureaucrats after they give me a hard time on the phone. It's so cathartic. It's probably the best thing about the situation we're in, maybe even reducing my chances of having a coronary. Hope so, because God help those of us needing treatment for something.

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