Tuesday, September 1, 2009

E-Mail from a Fiscally Conservative Friend

I just received a brief note by e-mail from a dear friend who rarely enjoys entering the political fray. He is socially very moderate to liberal, but fiscally, economically, and monetarily is a true conservative. (Well, he can be generous almost to a fault, but is the kind of guy who is likely as not to do his charitable giving anonymously). I share this without his express permission, but have notified him of this posting. If the post disappears later, you'll know that I misjudged his silence for consent. Herewith a pragmatic and thoughtful view of health care reform:

OK, first let me start off by saying this is NOT a particular party political statement...

I have had a series of recurrent ear infections/problems for years. I now have a substantial hearing loss in my right ear caused by constant fluid in the ear drum. After getting a ct scan ($1,100.00 here in the U.S., approx $99.00 in Japan), I need sinus surgery to correct the problem.

I have excellent insurance (which I pay dearly for every month). I have met my deductible (a few heart tests, again substantially less costly in other countries, took care of that). I STILL have to pay an up front "deposit" of $400.00 before I will be able to have the surgery. Fortunately, God has blessed me with the resources to be able to pay for everything.

So, when I arrived at the MD's office to pay the deposit, I inquired as to what other people, who can't afford to pay the deposit, do. The young lady took a deep breath and said rather sadly and plainly...."THEY DON'T HAVE THE SURGERY".....! I pressed her and said "do you all ever make any kind of 'arrangements' with people who can't pay. She said, "very very rarely"

..... So, I asked around and discovered this is pretty much "standard practice"....unless it is life or death.

If I didn't have this surgery, I would continue to go back and be treated with cortisone, antibiotics and worst of all, continue to lose more hearing in the ear.... I'm grateful to be able to have a viable option which will most probably fix the problem (I know in medicine there are no certainties)....

In conclusion... No matter WHICH side of the aisle you are on (or if you are in the middle). Contact your congressmen/women and tell them to work together to find a solution to the health care crisis in our country.

And lastly, to my friends on both sides of the aisles. Please don't send ME your criticisms of the other sides solutions. There's way to much of that going around. It's so much easier (and quite frankly so much more destructive) to criticize an idea/person than it is to seek solutions and compromise....

Your partner in finding a solution,



  1. The stories of the people who can't get treatment are the stories that the president and the members of Congress need to focus on and spread around. They have the microphones. Tell the stories of real people who suffer from the present system. The stories. The stories.