Obamacare & the Aging Population UPDATES

Since the Democrats last night offered anecdote-after-anecdote in order to justify the passage of Obamacare, I guess anecdotes are now completely fair entries into the debate. Let me offer two of them.

A friend of mine listened to the healthcare vote while driving home from a hospital, where he’d spent the day with his 80 year-old father.

His father is a robust man, fully in his wits, who only retired “for good” about six months ago. He had retired from his job as a line man and became bored after a few years of retirement (“how many times can I clean out the gutters and fix the boat engine?”) so he had become a part-time flag man -the guy who flags traffic as roads are repaired- for about a decade.

Over the winter my friend’s father went for a routine physical, during which (and through subsequent testing) it was discovered he had lymphoma, and lung cancer.

The two cancers were not connected -they were two separate events in his body- and so the lymphoma was addressed first. Mr. K. spent the winter going through chemo. This week, the lung cancer and one lobe of his lung was removed, and the doctors feel pretty confident that the pathology report will show additional tissue to be clean.

Mr K., as you might expect, is feeling pretty lousy right now, but he has hope. “In about six to eight weeks, you can do everything you ever did,” the doctors told him. Good news for a man who likes to stay busy.

As my friend was driving home last night, he couldn’t help but think back to the “healthcare townhall” President Obama held, where a woman talked about her 105 year old mother, who was in excellent health thanks to a pacemaker inserted when she was 100 years old by doctors who saw her “joy for life” and ignored her age. The woman wondered if Obamacare was going to be interested in giving her mother the sort of medical attention she currently enjoys, or will she simply be considered “too old,” when the bureaucrats who will now decide how public monies for health care are spent, consider her case.

Obama’s answer was unsurprising. He said many words -he always does- but not the words “your mom will get the exact same level of care she now enjoys.”

In fact, he ended his remarks with, “…maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.”

Remembering this, my friend wondered: under Obamacare, would his father, at age 80, have been denied chemo and surgery, and simply offered palliative care as he was sent home to die, when he is a man who has the spirit and drive to enjoy many more years, with proper medical care?

A man who worked hard all his life, paid his taxes, played by the rules and served his nation in the military should be able to hope for more, in his old age, than “take the painkiller,” shouldn’t he?

We spent last night at a birthday party, with the debate on in the background, and one SIL told me of a friend whose mother came to the US, from Europe, because she could not get vascular surgery in her country. Over 70, it turns out, was “too old” for such a waste of public money.

“But for goodness sake,” said my SIL, “Mom and Dad both had surgeries in their 70′s; that’s when a lot of people have vascular surgeries, stents, all kinds of procedures…”

Well…maybe not so many, any more.

Interesting Perspective from a UK physician who got out:

“In a private fee-for-service medical system, a dead patient is a revenue loss. In the National Health Service (UK), a dead patient was a cost savings.” -Harry Bailey MD 1930-2003, Sheffield (England) University Medical School 1950-1956; Harvard Medical School 1958-1981, US Navy Medical Corps 1982-1991.

The above quote is from my late father. He had a very unique perspective on the practice of medicine, especially as it relates to the various delivery systems. He was born and brought up in England and entered medical school there in 1950,

Read the whole thing

Another anecdote from Bookworm
Patrick is feeling frustrated
Neo-neocon has more thoughts
Megan McArdle looks at predictions
Ed Morrissey says Next up are the Court Challenges. But Ed is keeping hope alive.
How the Stupak Votes Fell

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • F

    Our 97 year old friend had a heart attack last week. She was in 1.5-2 days. They sent her home with no treatment. Too old. They did not want to bother, even tho’ her family members and her own mom lived well into their 100s. It was real BEFORE Obama “Care”. Now, with the massive aging demographic, they will easily be able to begin euthanizing the aged to save money.

  • F

    Oh. And that was a CATHOLIC hospital!

  • Sue from Buffalo

    My uncle just had a stent put in and he’s in his 70′s. If he wasn’t around, who would take care of my aunt? With the problems she’s had, she would probably be “in the ground” soon, too.

    My Mom is 85 and takes thalidomide to fight her cancer. Painkillers aren’t going to help there either.

    The Democrats aren’t in the least bit interested in helping people. Not the Democrats in power, that is.

    God help us.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    F: “Oh. And that was a CATHOLIC hospital!”

    May God have mercy on their souls. They’re not following the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  • Manny L.

    My father had a massive heart attack at 68, but lived until almost 71, incredibly debilitated and much of the time requiring a respirator and a lot of assistance. From society’s point of view, was it worth it to spend all that money keeping him alive for 2 and half years? No. But my father was a human being and he wanted to live and his family wanted him to live. How can anyone deny another person care? Cost analysis of people’s health and treatment is immoral at its core. If a person wants to live, we have every obligation to help him.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/KnightOwl2006#g/u Tempus_Fugit

    When is the Church going to start excommunicating these diabolical monsters who claim to be Catholic yet worship death?

    I spoke with a priest recently who seemed absolutely giddy over the health care bill. I have no words.

  • Stephanie

    “How can anyone deny another person care?”
    I’ve no idea….but my godson desperately needed surgery, and he got cut off insurance the month it was scheduled becuase his parents “made too much” (they both made about $8/hour at the time). Thank god my legislator at the time was a compassionate soul who got involved and made sure he had coverage for the surgery.

  • http://www.noodlingonit.com Kris, in New England

    Age is just a number and can work in the reverse. As with me.

    At age 45 I was diagnosed with Congenital Hip Dysplasia – yes I’m a large dog! Anyway, my right hip had disintegrated to the point where a total hip replacement was my only option.

    25 years younger than the average hip replacement patient.

    I received my hip replacement last year. I’m facing another one on the left at some point in the future. I’m considering asking if I can have it done in the next 2 years.

    For I’m certain that under Obamacare I’ll be told I’m too young for the hip replacement and will be told to take the painkiller instead.

    You see – hip replacements are not forever when you are 45. They are good for 15-20 years, which means I’m guaranteed a revision surgery at some point, if God wills it I live to that age.

    Under Obamacare I’m sure they would look at that and tell me I’d have to wait so they would only have to do one surgery.

    Hip Dysplasia leads to severe, highly advanced arthritis. The kind that strips your joint of cartiledge leaving bone-on-bone pain. The kind of pain that will drop a grown person to the ground.

    The kind of pain that is unrelenting. Painkillers strong enough to control that pain would be addictive.

    And a horrible cycle would be born.

    [I sympathize. One of my brothers, who is 49, also needs a hip replacement. He says the pain is extraordinary -admin]

  • tnxplant

    THEY will tell you when the quality of YOUR life is worth having or spending OUR tax dollars on.

    What could possibly go wrong?!

    Anecdotally, my dad had 2 stents put in at age 79, and my mom had a pacemaker at age 76. They will turn 85 and 80 this year, God willing. They have plans to travel to see their new great-grandson in a couple of months. They are having some health issues, but they both definitely want to live.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Make no mistake — ObamaCare does NOT provide you a “right to healthcare.”

    The ONLY thing that ObamaCare provides an entitlement to is PAYMENT of money into the system. Actually getting treatment is ENTIRELY up to the government.

    You are now a ward of the state. The state owns you and will do with you what it will — you do NOT get treated unless and until government says so. And more times than you will care to hear, it will say you do not get treated. Certainly, all those young and healthy people who will be forced to pay into the system or go to jail are not expected to actually take anything out, the whole plan depends upon them NOT receiving any benefits, it depends entirely on them only paying into it and receiving nothing in return.

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  • cathyf

    Here’s an anecdote for you. The woman who was going to find the cure for some terrible disease is in high school today. Because of the changes wrought yesterday, she is not going to major in biochemistry when she goes to college, she is going to major in sociology. Instead of taking a biochem degree to the job at the biotech startup that never starts up because there is no market for new treatments, she takes that sociology degree to her job working on the government panel to ration care.

    All of that hypothetical is, by definition, unknowable to us. But for those who believe in God, we believe that God knows all of this. He who has numbered every hair on your head knows the name of each and every person who dies from that disease who would not have died except that last night the Congress and the president destroyed the system which would have cured them. He knows the grief and suffering of every child and spouse and parent and friend left behind.

    We call things “acts of God” when we don’t know who is responsible or whether anyone is responsible. That’s what we call them. God, on the other hand, knows exactly who is responsible for each and every one of them.

  • IAmDagny

    I just canceled my health insurance. Since I can no longer be denied coverage with a pre-existing condition (like injuries sustained in a car wreck), there is no reason in the world that I, healthy and all of 33 years old, should be carrying health insurance. If they want to dance, let’s dance. Civil disobedience is a MUST here. They are watching us closely. If we roll over now, they will push until there is no freedom left. Resist. Resist. Resist.

    [I wouldn't cancel health insurances just yet. Coverage is not kicking in for 4 years. Only the taxes begin immediately. Hence, the urgency. -admin]

  • Manny L.

    “Because of the changes wrought yesterday, she is not going to major in biochemistry when she goes to college, she is going to major in sociology. Instead of taking a biochem degree to the job at the biotech startup that never starts up because there is no market for new treatments, she takes that sociology degree to her job working on the government panel to ration care.” -Cathyf

    Actually Cathy, she will probably major in law and sue doctors and hospitals for any mistake. Not only will she not be adding positive to the system, she will be dragging the system down.

  • Lily

    In an attempt to fix “social injustices” – liberal governments usually create new injustices.

  • Margo


    I feel the same way you do. The only problem with not having health insurance is that is EXACTLY what Pelosi, Obama et al want you to do. See, if we all wait to get insurance until we are sick it will eventually bankrupt the private insurance companies. Then the liberals will get the single payer option they so very much desire. THAT is what THIS is all about. Oh yeah, and power. Oh, and taking away our freedoms. And shredding the constitution….

  • Lily

    A friend of mine was an engineer, and was about to leave his job to go to medical school. On vacation in Mexico he told this to a Mexican man he met at the resort. The Mexican could not believe my friend would trade being an engineer to be a doctor – you see, in Mexico, the health care is all government controlled, and doctors are not very well paid – not really a desirable job there.

  • Don L

    But, remember, being sent home to die is in jeopardy now. Almost $500 billion was cut from seniorcare -hospice etc., in the typical “culture of death” mentality of the left.(I never did hear the Bishops demand that this not happen. I wonder why?) One “end of life” concern but not the other? And that Catholic principle of Subsidiarity? My they were quiet about that too . And the use of Obama’s phrase, Comprehensive Healthcare Reform -a far broader scope than just taking care of the 12 million or so uninsured. And how they seemed to have no problem with Caesar handling all of this – they hardly protested when Obama tried to take the tax break away from charitable giving effectively forcing all charity into the government lap for addiction purposes. And one of the top three supporting all this is a “migration” Bishop, why? They believe that everyone has a right to (American paid) healthcare no matter how they got here and where they came from, which effectively demands we provide care for the entire world. Killing the milk cow isn’t being as wise as serpents. There are far too many unanswered questions. Stupak, and giving an apparent imprimature to this disaster and letting it come out of committee is not the least. And then those millions to ACORN who are behind this CHR business from the get go -not to mention helping the first pro-infanticide president in history get elected. Too many questions -not enough answers.

  • Myssi

    My job changed exponentially yesterday…unless We the People stand up and demand the repeal of this mess. I was talking with a colleague last week and we were wondering how we’re even supposed to boil this much pasta at once, let alone throw it at the wall and hope something sticks to “reform healthcare”.

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  • http://takemetoyourlizard.blogspot.com/2009/09/unique-perspective-on-delivery-of.html Megan B-G

    My late father was a British-trained physician who started out in the newly-minted National Health Service in the early 1950′s. Even then, they were knocking off patients, both via rationing and by more direct means, to free up scarce beds. He bailed for greener shores. He told me: “In a private system, a dead patient is a revenue loss. In the NHS, a dead patient was a cost savings.” My brothet told more of the story on his blog last August. Here’s the link. Take a look.

  • Ruth

    My husband, age 72, goes to the VA for his medical care. The pressure in one of his eyes was high and he was given Cosopt by a private glaucoma specialist. The pressure dropped to 14 and he was told he would need to use the drops for the rest of his life. Cosopt is expensive, so he went to the VA to see if they would write the prescription (saving us hundreds of dollars). The VA took him off Cosopt saying they didn’t think he needed it and followed him every six months. After a year his pressure was 10 points higher. The VA doctor said she could give him the medication, but she didn’t think he needed it given his age even though his health is excellent and he has brothers and sisters in their late 80′s and early 90′s. Apparently she thought he would die before the pressure in his eye got high enough to cause blindness. They finally relented and gave him the prescription but the doctor had to write a justification for giving the medication.
    This is what the public is headed for.

  • T Harris

    People in the UK live on the average 3 years longer than people in the US.

    [as long as they don't get cancer... -admin]

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    I am 67 years old. Last April I suffered a very mild stroke – so mild in fact that I self-diagnosed, betook myself to my family doctor and informed her of what had happened. I was sent off to have an MRI and after the MRI I went home, only to get a phone call telling me to hotfoot my happy self to the hospital to be checked in! After much testing, poking and prodding – and some surprisingly good food, it was decided to clean out the two carotid arteries in my neck. Those surgeries were performed in August and September of last year.

    My point is, would I even be alive today under Obamacare? Probably not. And unlike our President, I even broke – cold turkey – a 45 year smoking habit. Decided I wasn’t going to do that any more and haven’t!

    [Congrats on that, Gayle. Very hard to quit smoking; I give lots of credit to any who can manage. -admin]

  • Mutnodjmet
  • dymphna

    My husband has arthritis in his knee. He’s 45 and needs a replacement. In 10 or 15 years when the surgery has to be done again will government care tell him take a pill and deal with it?

  • Manny L.

    “People in the UK live on the average 3 years longer than people in the US.” -THarris

    Not true. It’s about a year, and given the US obesity rates, it’s remarkable how close we are. Check it out here

  • JuliB

    I’ve been reading a book with Catholic articles from the late 40′s/early 50s. The author of the book/columns was railing against the Dems trying to push socialized medicine back in the 1950s!!!

    God forgive me for saying this, but these people are like termites in our society. Never stopping, undermining things ‘behind the scenes’, causing destruction, etc. You cannot be a Catholic and a Socialist. And like Sharpton said today, when people voted for Obama, they voted for socialism.

    I know I should pray for their conversions, but it’s awfully hard right now.

  • Jake Was Here

    In recent years, God’s ways have become more mysterious to me than ever. I have always known that I could never hope to achieve in this life a complete understanding of Him — but recent events have driven me to the conclusion that I have not even the beginnings of an understanding. I don’t know what’s going on, and I don’t know why He lets it go on.

    All I know is He better not let it go on too long… what was the saying? “Let there be war in my time, that my children may know peace.”

    And this Congress and this President have shot that one to hell — by the time they’re all gone, they will have made it certain that our children will know no peace, no security, nothing but anguish and strife and a struggle every day for a dollar that the government won’t take from them. And they’ll have been brainwashed into loving Big Brother for being so beneficent and generous as to not take away everything they have.


    I’m beginning to feel that John Derbyshire is right: Imperial despotism has been the way of mankind throughout history; America is a mere aberration, and a brief one at that. We’re going back down into the long night. There is no escaping it.

    Fiat voluntas tua.

  • newton

    “you see, in Mexico, the health care is all government controlled, and doctors are not very well paid – not really a desirable job there.”

    This reminds me of a story that happened a few years ago in NC. There was this family from Mexico who crossed the border illegally so their child could get a kidney transplant at Duke U Medical Center. The question back then was, “why give a kidney to an illegal?” I have a better question, though.

    I’ve been to Mexico several times. Once, during my honeymoon trip, I tripped and fell in the middle of the main avenue in Cancun with a moped I was driving. I only had a few scratches, but an ambulance was called on me. The paramedics and I were talking for a good while while they checked my legs out for any fractures. (I had none) And then, they told me that if I had been worse than they found me, I could easily go to the local Red Cross hospital. You see, in MX, Red-Cross health care is government health care. It’s free.

    Now, if health care in MX is “gratis” (free), then why the heck did that family feel a need to cross the border illegally to get a new kidney at an American hospital? They could have saved their trouble if Red-Cross health care was excellent enough… right?


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  • saveliberty

    Thank you for posting this.

    Great minds think alike – Robin of Berkeley (The American Thinker) wrote on a different perspective of the same idea – less care for the elderly.

    She told of a story of an older lady and a very impatient younger woman. I wasn’t sure if you had seen it, but she closes the item with a story worth reading.

    I won’t link it her so as not to cause problems, but please let me know if you would like the link. It was posted on March 19, 2010.

  • saveliberty

    her=here, for the typing challenged

  • Chelie

    I, frankly, am worried about my situation. I am an insulin-dependent diabetic (have been since the age of 6, more than 43 years ago). I am incredibly blessed by God in that I have very, very few complications from being on insulin for so long. However, I think that ObamaCare will not consider me to be a good risk. It costs lots of money to maintain me, and who knows how much longer I will be complication-free?

  • jill e

    There is an elderly man in our church who is on oxygen and has several health issues. But he is the most joyful person I’ve ever seen. He LOVES life and he makes everyone around him feel the same way.

    Will he continue to receive the care and treatment he has today??? Who’s loss will it be if he doesn’t??

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/KnightOwl2006#g/u Tempus_Fugit

    Why do we need an expensive, bureaucratic middleman in health care whether it be an insurance company or the government?

    When I was growing up, we just dealt directly with our family doctor and paid his bills which were reasonable. No drama.

    THAT’s the system I want.

  • cathyf

    People in the UK live on the average 3 years longer than people in the US.

    In the US we lose about half of the 23-week preemies that are born, and they get averaged into our life expectancy statistics as having lived the few days/weeks/months that each survived. In the UK, as in the rest of Europe, they call a 23-weeker a “stillbirth” and let them all die, so that they don’t get counted in the statistics.

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  • Sue from Buffalo

    CathyF: “Here’s an anecdote for you. The woman who was going to find the cure for some terrible disease is in high school today. Because of the changes wrought yesterday, she is not going to major in biochemistry when she goes to college, she is going to major in sociology. Instead of taking a biochem degree to the job at the biotech startup that never starts up because there is no market for new treatments, she takes that sociology degree to her job working on the government panel to ration care.”

    Funny you should mention this, CathyF. My daughter is a junior in high school. Her recent GPA was over 99%. She wants to study science, possibly biochemistry like her uncle. Will she now? I don’t know because of yesterday’s vote.

  • http://www.thriftymammy.com Deborah

    It can work in reverse too. I live in Ireland and two years ago I found a lump in my breast. I went to my doctor and he referred me for an ultrasound. Even thought I had private insurance, the way it works here means you have to pay upfront and are reimbursed at your renewal, that was 800 euro I didn’t have. So I went through the public system. Six months later I still had not gotten the letter with an appointment and at this point my breast had started to discharge blood. I called my GP and asked if he could push things a bit. He said it was likely due to the fact that I was only 28 and that women in their 50′s would get priority. A further three months I contacted my local TD’s (members of parliament) and only after my individual case was brought up in our dail (parliament) and had lots of media attention due to some angry blogger friends did I get an appointment. Thankfully it was not cancer and was treatable, but if it had have been, in nine months my condition could have deteriorated big time, heck I could have been dead by the time they got around to me all because I was deemed too young to be at risk. :/ I won’t even get started on the awful state of the public system here not to mention the general lack of hygiene. Many many times I have wished to go back to the US for the healthcare alone and if either of my kids were seriously ill I’d be on a plane so quick regardless of the cost.

  • Peggy Coffey

    I am 54 and had a heart attack 6 years ago. I now have a pacemaker and am on quite a few medications. I am sure I will get a pacemaker replacement for a few years more, but at age 70 (lord willing) will I get one? My father is 84 and he has had a pacemaker for quite a few years. I am anticipating a fight to get him a new one if he needs it (lord willing).

  • newton

    My grandmother is 97 years old and has a pacemaker.

    My mother is 76 years old, just retired from teaching, and has gout and hypertension.

    Because of this monstrosity, I will probably lose them sooner than I think.

  • Diane

    18 months ago I suddenly became terribly ill. I have health insurance and did at that time as well. To make a long and scary story short, at the 2 week point in the hospital things suddenly became much worse, life threatening in a very immediate way. I received excellent care, and due to the skills of the medical staff (and all the prayers I literally demanded of anyone who ventured into my line of sight!) I was able to leave the ICU after only two days and came home a week after that.

    However…I am now on a rather expensive drug and in addition have a bi-monthly infusion for the rest of my life. My insurance rates this infusion as chemotherapy and the statements I see indicate it costs ~ $8,000 for each treatment. Right now I am working full time and paying my taxes, so I *think* I’ll be safe under Obama(doesn’t?)Care.

    I’m 55 years old. Retirement is not in my game plan as I just can’t afford it. I’m hoping to get in at least another 15 years, as many more than that as possible. But there will come a time when I can’t do the 9 to 5 every day. When that day comes and I can no longer pay the taxes I am now, I fully expect that those infusions will disappear as I will be so old and unproductive that the government won’t be able to justify the expense. I’m already feeling like my government only wants me healthy as long as I can pay. Once I’m *used up,* it’ll be a pain pill for me. Thanks, Nancy, Louise, Obama, etc.

  • F

    2 things:

    1.) I think I’d better quote the Anchoress to all of us: Fear is Useless.

    2.) I now know we are doomed. Here’s proof of the idiocracy. I just saw this online headline as if it was pertinent big news:
    The story behind Tiger Woods’ bracelet. Yeah. Honest. That’s what it said. Gotta have our priorities straight, y’know!

    Time to fire up the base and work for Change.

  • Manny L.

    ‘He told me: “In a private system, a dead patient is a revenue loss. In the NHS, a dead patient was a cost savings.” ‘ -Megan B-G

    Megan, that is absolutely brilliant!!! That is the core of it. Your father was incredibly insightful. That should be splattered all over the world. I will have to remember that to the day I die.

  • Rand Careaga

    My father, a US Marine Gunnery Sergeant during the late unpleasantness with the Japanese (Guadalcanal, the Solomons, Guam), will turn eighty-nine in half a year. He is proud that he has never voted for a Democrat in his life, detests Obama, loathes “socialism” and, although I confess that I haven’t discussed it with him–over the course of the 40+ years since our opinions on public policy began to diverge we have learned that we are both better served by avoiding politics when we meet–I am certain that he opposes the legislation passed yesterday.

    He was severely wounded in the landings on Guam, and spent close to a year in a military hospital. His injury has involved complications in later life, and for the past two decades he has relied on the VA for much of his medical care. And guess what? He has nothing but good to say about the quality of the treatment he has received. Given that this is health care directly delivered by government functionaries, one would think from the dark intimations in this thread that by rights he ought to have spent hundred of hours by now lying in urine-soaked blankets on the linoleum floor of some dystopian “National Health” warehouse, but no. If I understand him correctly, the VA even pays for an LVN to look in on him three times a week.

    The old gentleman would be scandalized were I to suggest that he is somehow the beneficiary of “socialized medicine” (I never would–at nearly ninety he’s still as irascible as he ever was, and I learned early on to tread gently around him), but I’ll guess on the basis of other things he’s said over the years that if the disparity between what he pays for VA healthcare and the services rendered he would reply that he and other alumni of “Edson’s Raiders” deserve no less. Nor indeed would I presume to dissent.

    I do wonder what he’d think, if I dared to ask him, about taking him out of the VA system and letting the private sector make decisions about his care from now on.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Well, Rand, why not ask him, and find out?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    By the way, your father sounds fortunate; I’ve heard other stories about the VA, that don’t sound nearly as good.

  • Jeff

    Cost savings, yes. That reminds me of her openly Malthusian comment about greater availability of contraception, i.e., that it would save the states money – - because there would be fewer people alive. This is how the hard left, pre-totalitarian mind thinks. Where it ends up is the intentional killing of the weak by the strong. I hope St. Joseph truly does intercede for her utterly confused soul.

  • Rand Careaga

    Mine is only anecdotal evidence. Veterans less severely handled by the Japanese or the Germans (to confine the discussion to the last legally declared war), or those shot up by Koreans in the fifties, Vietnamese in the sixties and seventies or blown up by sundry Arabs in recent decades may have different results to report. My account is of one man’s experience since the mid-eighties. It may be that WWII veterans are singled out for particularly attentive treatment, but given the assumption here that government-administered medical care is inevitably shoddy and/or inhumane, ought not he have suffered greatly at the hands of federally-employed doctors and nurses?

    I’ll see the old gentleman at Easter, and will ask him if he’d prefer to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire, especially considering that the frying pan is not at present positioned above a burner.

    Incidentally, I note that all of the horror stories related upthread have to do with healthcare as it is today. Odd that no one seems to want the system changed.