As a people, we have become obsessed with Health. There is something fundamentally, radically unhealthy about all this. We do not seem to be seeking more exuberance in living as much as staving off failure, putting off dying. We have lost all confidence in the human body. ~Lewis Thomas
The health care debate goes on and on.
Conservatives scream at liberals . Liberals scream at conservatives.
One phrase that is thrown around is “ The spiraling costs of health care “
We have to control them.
Why have health care costs spiraled?
When my daughter Pennie was born the total hospital bill for Betty’s two day stay in the hospital was $100.
The Doctor charged $25 for the delivery.
If Pennie had been born today. Betty would have stayed only one day in the hospital and the hospital cost would have been over a $1000.
The obstetrician would have charged a $1000.
Various other specialties would add their own costs separate from the hospital.
What caused this spiral ?
Well my daughter was born in a friendly local hospital. It had a little maternity section.
It grossly underpaid its staff from nurses to cooks.
It had none of the fancy equipment that hospitals need today.
The cost of liability insurance was not very high.
As the staff slowly received better compensation the cost of running the hospital went up.
Law suits across the country ran up the cost of liability insurance on the maternity section.
They closed it.
Now you had to go to a more expensive, better equipped for all emergencies, hospital.
Up went the cost of having a baby.
The local hospital did a lot of tonsil removal.
Law suits through the liability for that out of reach.
They stopped doing tonsils.
They tried to survive but the government said it was not practical and gave aid to the bigger hospital down the road.
The little hospital closed.
People had to drive fifteen miles to the more expensive better equipped hospital.
The Doctor that delivered Pennie discovered that if he continued to deliver babies he needed very expensive liability insurance. He quit.
Now one had to go to a specialist.
Costs spiraled upward.
The same Doctor quit doing tonsils for the same reason.
Now one had to go to the regional medical center ninety miles away to have tonsils removed.
You needed a specialist.
Could the health care legislation help control those costs?
Do you want to pay the staff less?
Do you want the local Doctor back doing tonsils?
Do you want the local Doctor delivering babies?
Do you want to cap medical lawsuits and push the cost of liability insurance down?
Do you want to stop the introduction of new diagnostic machines that save lives? Every machine adds to the costs.
What kind of medicine do you want?
Nancy has adjusted to the new situation. Her coffee is now five cents a cup and her saffron buns ten cents each.. Her coffee and saffron are coming from Marquette at much much lower prices than she paid in 2009. People keep stopping in an expressing their hopes and their fears. Einar Jupola, no relative of Eino, said they should steal an engine, put on one of them things like they had in the movie “Back to the Future”, attach some passenger cars and take everybody home. Never mind the driblet. Nancy had to explain that they didn’t have one of those things to put on the engine. Further nobody knew how to make one since the one in the movie wasn’t real. Poor Einar he was so disappointed. Haden Larson, Elliot Larson’s little boy tripped while running on the wooden sidewalk because of a loose board. He broke his leg. Old Doc Simpson was out delivering a baby and there is no hospital anywhere near at this time so the Nurse Practitioner set the leg as best she could and put it in a cast. She had his father take him home. If they get back to the year 2009 it may need to be rebroken and set properly. Tommy UK has been trying to find some way to use his power to get back. He has tried the trick he learned of bringing up an image in his mind and then thinking himself instantly there. But despite his having a number of future images it has not worked. He has come to the conclusion that time is a barrier his power can’t cross.. In the committee brain storming the driblet has failed to come up with any workable ideas. One other problem is that Chief Ican is missing. He said he was going to check out a hunch and hasn’t been seen or heard since. Some of the group are getting worried.