THOUGHTS ON THE HEALTH SCARE-SNARE RACKET
Saturday, March 25, 2017—Trumpcare, the Republicans’ answer to Obamacare, failed this week. Predictions abound about what the government will do next. It appears Obamacare is imploding, and the media expects it to be saved or replaced. My right-wing conservative friends declare government control of health care is unconstitutional. My left-wing friends believe Obamacare needs to be fixed, not replaced.
I’ve been opposed to government and insurance-controlled medicine since graduating from medical school and psychiatry residency. Back then, it was Hillarycare, which was trounced initially. During Bill Clinton’s presidency, Hillarycare began being implemented piecemeal through bureaucracy.
For me, the issue then and now was freedom, including freedom of choice about everything from practitioners to types of treatment. Government-controlled health care translates into a guaranteed captive market for insurance companies, in which the healthy subsidize everyone else, especially the “industry” itself. Doctors and patients must kowtow to government and insurance rules. Out the window go confidentiality, honesty, and compassion, since symptoms must fit a diagnosis code to insure payment for treatment. In psychiatry, this means the psychiatrist must come up with a diagnosis which goes forever on the patient’s record and can interfere with everything from self-esteem to employment.
AND, SEVEN YEARS AGO THIS MONTH . . .
CURRENT EVENTS: OBAMACARE
Wednesday, March 24, 2010—Everyone is talking about Obamacare, which passed over the weekend. Everyone knew it would, but nobody knows what it means except more taxes. The boat is sinking, but we’re afraid to rock it.
Friday, March 26, 2010—I met a 35ish guy in line at Starbucks yesterday. I was standing at the cash register when Sean mentioned something about Obamacare. I said Dr.Obama needs to write his own prescriptions. The guy behind me, a big, burly fella with motorcycle helmet and a completely tattooed right arm but untouched left arm, thick dark hair two-three inches long, eyes brown and intense, said something about economics, bankers, the Fed, or a related subject that tipped me off.
I realized he is an awakened soul, sees things as I do, and so we stood there agreeing with each other until both got coffee and moved out of the way.
Tee hee. I had told the boyfriends the other day there is no gold in Fort Knox, and the levels of security exist to protect the void. My new friend, whose name I didn’t ask, agrees there’s no gold in Fort Knox, but for fools’ gold, hahaha. I told him his generation is much smarter than my generation and got a laugh out of someone behind me in line.
On the way out, my new friend mentioned the book, Creature from Jekyll Island, and said he learned on the net that the US has been selling gold-plated tungsten bars to China and I think France as if they were gold, and the deception has recently been discovered. Apparently it began during the Clinton years, and the cost was something like $50,000 per bar to produce.
Later, Sean said we were two peas in a pod, an unlikely pair, the two of us, but what the hey. These younger folks are expected to cater to all these old coots who were gullible enough to trust the Woodrow Wilsons, FDRs, Lyndon Johnsons, and other paternalistic exploiters, and I don’t blame the younger set if they believe Boomers are dispensable. Why should they support us? I told my friend he is under no obligation to make good on the government’s promises.
TEN YEARS AGO THIS MONTH:
MEDICAL SCHOOL ATTITUDES
Monday, March 26, 2007 – I’ve been thinking about my medical career. Starting in medical school, I was appalled by the attitudes, and they got worse in the hospital in our third year. M. was a good study companion the first two years, but his old girlfriend and the vicious, cut-throat, warfare in the hospital in our third year edged me out. He played the politics and kissed up to the residents, but he also loved doing the procedures, and was like the rest of them, eager to compete for opportunities to do lumbar punctures, draw blood, drain fluid from lungs and peritoneal cavities, deliver babies, run codes. While I wanted the experience, too, I wasn’t willing to elbow my way into the situations that offered them, and the rush-rush mentality rattled my confidence and made me afraid to touch the patients.
I was horrified at the frenzy of my classmates when it came to procedures, and the careless disregard for the patients they were so eager to practice on. I wasn’t willing to follow residents around, hoping for chances to draw blood or run errands or otherwise do their bidding. They perceived my attitude as insolence, and the OB-gyn boys took it more personally than the others. No one ever told me directly, so I was flabbergasted when Dr. S said they complained and almost failed me for the OB rotation. I only remembered they wouldn’t let us do much, because they wanted to do it, and they kept medical students in a room together entire afternoons while they saw the patients alone. I spent my time studying, so made the highest grade in the class on the written test. I thought the OB-gyn material was the easiest. Everyone else was bragging about how many babies they were “catching,” as if it were a disease. I only “caught” one baby, that the chief OB resident helped me with, but he was the first baby with congenital syphilis the attending physicians had seen in ten years.
THE MD ROLE
Monday, March 26, 2007 – My no-frills trappings and simple, ascetic life – which it is – runs counter to the doctor stereotype, into which other doctors pour money and pride. I’ve never felt comfortable in the doctor role. It belongs to someone else, a non-being, a stereotype formed by others’ expectations, divorced from my self-perceived style.
But I’m good at it, among the best I know, which makes it all the stranger, because it comes so easily. That I don’t put much faith in the pills I prescribe, the system I represent, the beliefs believed “normal” by today’s standards, ekes out in passing references.
No, I don’t believe in war, competition, health care insurance, the federal government, marriage, or that churches should be property tax-exempt, unless everyone is property tax-exempt. If I pray directly to god, without need for a priest or rabbi to intercede, why should I pay property taxes when they don’t? Who’s to say god listens more to them than me, and why should that give them a material advantage?
DRUG AND ALCOHOL LAWS
Saturday, March 3, 2007 – Drug and alcohol laws represent a major human rights violation–as the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion foretold–and should be abolished. No one has the right to restrict another’s access to her own body. The key to better health is better education and a free range of choices. No one feels my pain like I do.
I believe drug laws set the frame for the sadomasochistic power struggles we call addiction. Drug laws are a means by which government seeks control over taxpayers. Laws put government in a moralistic, paternalistic, top-dog position over the taxpayers who pay its way.
Laws and other social engineering tactics restrict the productivity of the very individuals who support them, and the entire society loses.
CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PRESCRIPTIONS
Monday, March 12, 2007 – Doing child and adolescent psychiatry means prescribing drugs I don’t approve of, because the teachers dictate medical care for unruly kids.
No, we won’t give them physical education, home economics, shop, or any incentive to behave, nothing that will interest them during the long hours they must sit, while some harried, bored, and boring teacher parrots an agenda designed to stifle curiosity and make children hate education.
No, we will diagnose them as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and put them on amphetamines to control their behavior, because what we’re really doing is cultivating the next generation of slave labor for the imperialists who formerly were industrialists but no longer even produce meaningful industry. They produce paperwork, insurance, stocks, cash, and debt, using their forebears’ reputations as collateral, generating paper profits on Wall Street, while product quality and workplace safety plummet.