Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Thoughts on Healthcare

I've spoken with other Brits about America's health care system so I understand your concerns and appreciate your compassionate concerns.  However, the time I describe when the Cleveland Clinic's Rainbow Children's Hospital gave us trouble is the only time we had a problem getting medical treatment for our son.  I'm not sure why this particular hospital administrator gave us trouble, but she was the only one to ever do so.  During his life time Clay had five major open heart surgeries dozens of medical procedures, and more emergency room visits that became short recovery stays than we can remember, yet we only had trouble with not having medical insurance once, and that was resolved with a little media pressure.
The other factor is that those five surgeries were at two of the top hospitals in the world.  The reason we didn't go to another hospital after being rejected by Cleveland Clinic is because they were the only one in the world who could perform the rare and difficult surgery he required.  When Clay needed a third surgery the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota was the best place so that's were we took him.  There had only been a limited number of surgeries of the type Clay needed and the surgeon at Mayo Clinic had performed all but two to them.  Mayo Clinic accepted Clay as a patient without insurance and even without a doctor's referral.  We just showed up and asked to see one of the world's most renowned surgeons and they let us in.

Clay was examined by that surgeon that day and he spent the rest of the week going through a battery of test.  This is the same hospital that operates on billionaires, presidents and dictators from around the world. These wealthy and powerful people might have had a better room than Clay, but they couldn't have received better care.

America's health care system seems broken until you actually need it.  I would have loved to have had nationalized healthcare insurance to pay the medical bills, but I would not have traded the quality of care we received for a free service.  If all I had to go on is what I read in publications and what I see on the news, then I too would think America's health care system is broken and cruel.  If you haven't experienced it first-hand then I would expect you to think so too.  But the real-world reality is that our capitalist system of health care produces the best and most innovative medical care this world has to offer.  American law require that everyone receives medical care, but I don't believe we need laws for that to be the case.  Like medical professionals all over the world, America's doctors and nurses are compassionate and caring.  I've witnessed this too many times to believe otherwise.

America's healthcare system is the world's best because we provide an open system that encourages innovation.  Nationalized health care sounds good, but the hard truth is that when the government takes over it suppress innovation.  We have the world's best hospitals and doctors because of our capitalistic system, not despite it.  ObamaCare or any other form of nationalized health care is not the best choice for America.  I don't say this about what you have in the United Kingdom because I don't know.  I do know about ours.  If we continue down the path of nationalized health care our wonderful medical system will suffer from lack of future medical innovation and the high-quality medical care we currently enjoy will eventually deteriorate.
One final note:  Though I don't agree with the principle behind nationalizing health care, I did think it would be good for my son since for the first time in his life Clay would have medical insurance coverage.  I was wrong.  Because Clay's was a "pre-existing condition", ObamaCare didn't cover him.  Clay was the poster child for nationalized health care, yet he wasn't covered.  If it didn't cover him then the entire program is a lie.

Dads response to a comment on his Memoir about America's healthcare.

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