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My Very Own “Health Care” Sob Story.

December 9, 2009

On more than a few occasions, President Obama has trotted out a few nightmarish sob stories about people who couldn’t afford “health care” in America, or were turned down by “greedy, soulless insurance companies” that deprived the poor victims of much needed medicines/surgeries/etc….resulting in the untimely death of the poor victim. This tactic is also trotted out by more than a few sycophantic Obama supporters who eagerly trumpet the “Public Option Now” clarion call.
More than a few people on the opposing ideological side have been showing off a few stories of their own, exemplifying the consequences of government run health care.
Several of these stories, whether they be ‘pro’ or ‘con’, have since been debunked in some fashion or another…

(Maybe it’s just me but it seems that more of the “Pro-Public Option” sob stories have been debunked than the “anti-Obama Plan” sob stories…but don’t take that as incontrovertible)

…but I’m not going to speak on any of them, be they ‘pro’ or ‘con’.
I’m simply going to share with you my own sob story. I’ll keep it short & sweet.
I thank you in advance for thinking that my story is worth hearing about.

My Stepfather, Roy, is a US Army Veteran who served in Germany during the so-called Vietnam Era. He witnessed President John F. Kennedy’s famous Berlin speech back when the Berlin Wall still had that “new car smell”, so to speak…and he & his German-speaking buddies couldn’t help but laugh at Kennedy’s famous remark “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner“) which, according to some parlances, literally translates as “I am a jelly doughnut“.

As a veteran, he is afforded such perks as government-subsidized health care at the nearest VA Hospital for his noble service to his country. Back in 1998, during a routine check-up, the VA doctor diagnosed him with an arrhythmic heartbeat. Nothing too serious, the doctor said. Roy was prescribed some very expensive medication (I’m afraid I cannot remember the name of the medicine) and was told to take one pill a day in order to treat his condition.

Fast forward to 2003…my Mother & Stepfather move to Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho. The nearest VA Hospital is in Spokane, WA…a two and a half hour car trip, one way. However, there was a local doctor in private practice who offered reasonable rates (and occasionally would work in trade; Bonner’s Ferry is a very rural town…lots of hunting for venison!). So, being handy with carpentry and tools, the doctor was willing to give Roy an exam in exchange for Roy helping to fix his leaking septic tank. As expected, the doctor also diagnosed Roy’s arrhythmic heartbeat…whereupon Roy immediately presented the doctor with the pills he was given to treat the arrhythmia.

The doctor read the label and bellowed “YOU’RE TAKING THESE……?!?!?!”

Long story short: If the VA doctor who treated my Stepfather was even remotely competent, he would’ve known that all that was needed to resolve Roy’s arrhythmic heartbeat was to “shock” it back into normal sinus rhythm…kinda like the defibrillators you see doctors use on TV, only not as severe. A quick zap and bingo!…arrhythmic heartbeat problem is resolved!
But no. That’s not what happened.
Instead, due to the length of time that it essentially went untreated, my Stepfather’s arrhythmic heartbeat is now permanent…no amount of defibrillation will ever return him to normal sinus rhythm again.
In addition, the now-permanent arrhythmia caused tiny blood clots to form in his circulatory system. This resulted in a series of “mini-strokes” that plagued Roy for years…mini-strokes that were never diagnosed until well after the damage had been done.
What’s worse…the pills that were originally prescribed to Roy for his arrhythmia didn’t treat his heart: they actually damaged his heart instead.
Now, not only does Roy have an arrhythmic heartbeat but his weakened heart now has to pump harder & faster to do the same job that it used to do. In other words, if Roy does the dishes after dinner he has to sit in his chair and take a nap once he’s finished.
That wasn’t an exaggeration…that is what actually happens. Roy does the dishes, then he has to sit down to rest. It is actually that exhausting for him to do the most menial tasks now.
Consequently, any idea of exercise is out of the question…even walking the aisles in the supermarket seems a herculean task…so now Roy is borderline to morbidly obese.
Did I mention that Roy is severely diabetic?
Do you know what happens to severely diabetic people who don’t exercise & get overweight?
Yep…he’s got that too.

This tragic tale would be quite the fodder for a malpractice lawsuit, don’t you think?
There’s just one small problem:
The VA Hospital is a Government run federal health care program.
That means it, and the so-called doctor who “treated” Roy, is exempt from any & all malpractice lawsuits.

A lot of people, when hearing about my Stepfather’s plight, have mentioned to me that too many doctors that take jobs at VA hospitals are the dregs of the medical profession…meaning that they would never be able to successfully practice medicine in a privatized system. Working under the protection of federal exemption, they can be just as incompetent as they want and nobody can touch them.

Only a fool would believe that a “public option” health care plan that would add tens of millions of additional potential patients into an already overburdened medical system…
(while the number of doctors treating this massive influx of patients would pretty much remain the same!)
…not to mention escalate the amount of red tape and paperwork by one thousand-fold…
(and yet not cost the taxpayers one single dime…according to Pelosi, Reid, Obama, and the rest!)
…wouldn’t result in more cases like my stepfather’s story.

That is, unless something even worse happens to them.

Government-Run Health Care….yay.

Thanks again for your time

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