Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Solving the Health Care Crisis

94 Solving the Health Care Crisis

The problem with health care in this country is there are too many people who think they’re sick and aren’t.

They take up time, space and cost that should rightly go to sick people.

These unthinking, inconsiderate Americans sit in the waiting rooms, keep the pharmacists busy, fill their heads and the heads of those around them with talk about imagined illness.

They rattle on endlessly about drug prices and doctor prices and uncaring care-givers.

And they drive up the costs of medical care.

How many times have you heard “you’re fine. Go home, rest for a day, walk a little more carefully and get your eyes checked…” from the doctor? Most of the time. Maybe ALL the time.

But you, you robotic creature, go for that physical every year, because somewhere in your dark past someone told you (and you believed and obeyed) that you need a physical exam once a year.

Maybe. Maybe, not. But how are you to know this?

You can’t. And that’s why you go so often, even when they tell you everything’s fine.

Here’s the fix: You need a “Check Engine” light, just like the one on the dashboard of your car.

When Detroit, Tokyo and Stuttgart first started putting this feature in cars, no one seemed to know what they did, including the people who were supposed to fix those cars.

When the “Check Engine” light went on, you opened the hood, looked in and saw the engine. You said “yeah, that’s an engine, alright,” and got back behind the wheel. This of course did not cause the light to go off. So if you were really diligent, you went back out under the hood, looked in, said “yep, it’s still there, I checked” and THEN drove off.

We have since come to learn that this light means that the car’s computer has found something wrong and that you have to go to the “technician.” (They don’t call ‘em mechanics anymore and that burns the hides of some mechanics who AREN’T “technicians” and don’t WANT to be technicians and who think of themselves as “MECHANICS,” and are proud of it.)

The technician then connects his computer to your car’s, finds out what’s wrong and fixes it.

People also should have “check engine” lights. They’d save countless needless trips to the doc.

Some people would need to go frequently. Other people could wait for years before their lights came on.

Surely we must have this kind of technology available.

The light goes on. You make an appointment and go to keep it.

The waiting room is mysteriously empty. That’s because the doc now sees only people who have lit “check engine” lights.

They hook you up, read you and in a few moments, in walks the Medicine Man who tells you

“Your cholesterol is a bit high. Your blood pressure is normal, your vision is 20/60, you’re allergic to eel grass and you have a benign 2 cm lesion just above your left elbow. Roll up your sleeve please.”

It’s how to cure having things that don’t need curing.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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