Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday August 11, 2009...Thoughts about healthcare and education

I've seen major changes in the medical field during my lifetime.
When I was a child doctors still made house calls and hospitals were only used for major illness or surgery. Doctors weren't terribly rich, many lived in the same neighborhood where I grew up. Hospitals were mostly run by churches or charitable organizations. Doctor bills and hospital bills weren't something to be feared, they just had to be paid as they were needed. Health insurance didn't exist for most people at that time. In fact I never had health insurance till after my daughters were born. When my first daughter was born in 1964 the doctor's charge was $150.00 and the hospital bill for 7 days stay was $150.00. At the time, I made $475.00 per month, so it wasn't too much of a burden.
Back then, the doctor's I knew were more interested in the Hippocratic Oath and patient care than the money. It was an honorable profession and the doctor was greatly admired.

We had an adequate educational system back then too. Anyone with a high school education was capable of obtaining work and providing for their family. Our education system was among the best in the world and the education that we received prepared us for the world that existed then. We have slipped way down the ladder compared to our foreign competition. Our students lack the education that will prepare them to compete with those in other countries.

Something has gone way out of whack since then. We have people unable to afford basic medical care in our United States and the whole fabric of the medical field has become obsessed with money. Everyone is worried about everyone else filing suits against each other. We have turned away from helping others to protecting what we have. In the parable of The Good Samaritan, we have become a people matching those who passed by not wanting to become involved. We have become rude and uncaring for those who have less. It is a sad thing to see, because I remember when people were actually polite and cared about others.

At this time, with the way people and things are, I believe the only solution is to have the government involved in the providing of care and education of our people. We can see what has happened when we left it up to the conscience of the good people of this country. We now have a country of the haves and the have-nots and those with the most don't seem to want to help those with the least. Our medical system has fallen way below adequate and our educational system is slipping farther and farther below the norm. The only way we can pick ourselves up by the bootstraps is to unite behind our government and assure equal opportunity, equal education and equal medical care for all of us. Those who have more can still get more than the rest of us, because they can afford the best, but for the good of our country and our own future we need to insure that our people are healthy and educated.

I'm not one to shout and protest. I usually quietly accept the mandate of the electorate and assume that all of us are in the same boat working together. I have lately decided that this assumption is no longer accurate. We are divided and the division is widening with each year that passes and our government seems to be one of special interests and influenced too much by those interests. More and more of the quiet, silent majority of us are becoming disappointed with what has been happening and we are looking for someone who cares about us and works for us. Right now the contentious loud-mouthed wing nuts are shouting down the voices of reason and the rest of us are quietly seething.

No comments:

Post a Comment