One of the most common themes on this website is the high cost of American healthcare. What I am saying is that our annual deficits are way too high and that our accumulated debt is increasing too fast. Furthermore, the only way to get the cost of healthcare entitlements, Medicare and Medicaid, under control, is to get the overall cost of private healthcare under control as well. And, of course, I support specific policies to do just this.
It so happens that I have just had a major interaction with the American healthcare system in Omaha NE where I live. I go jogging first thing in the morning, five days a week, all year around. I have done this all my life and have never had a problem – until last Monday morning when I slipped on some ice, fell down and fractured my wrist. What I did then was:
- Call off my 8:00 A.M. Calculus class
- My wife, Sharon, took me to a Minor Medical facility at 8:00 A.M. just as it opened.
- The facility x-rayed my wrist and determined that I had broken several bones.
- They then located an orthopedic surgeon who could see me the same day at 2:50 P.M.
- The surgeon scheduled me for surgery the very next morning.
- The surgery was successful and I am now recovering.
- In other words, 30 hours after my accident occurred, I had had an intense inter-action with American medicine and came through with flying colors.
- To say the least, I am very impressed with the quality of the facilities and healthcare professionals with whom I interacted.
It may cost an arm and a leg for this superb medical treatment but then I have excellent health insurance which I have seldom had to make use of.
Conclusion: Although we must make significant changes in healthcare delivery in the U.S., to make the system more cost efficient, we should try hard to do this without affecting the high degree of quality inherent in the system.