We all know that getting the health care bill passed by the House of Representatives was not easy. However, it was a good civics lesson for children. They learned that if the minority is unhappy with what the majority decides, those who support the minority call the people in the majority offensive names and spit at them. Some make threatening phone calls.
This spitting might be the oddest reaction. As we learned during the swine flu panic, we should always cover our mouths when sneezing or coughing. Certainly, spitting directly at someone can be equally unsanitary. And to do it when the conversation involves health undermines the spitter’s political position.
Some people feel the health care bill went too far, and others feel it didn’t go far enough. Therefore, it seems appropriate for me to discuss some of the things it does and does not cover as well as some of the ramifications of the bill.
Millions of parents were probably thrilled to learn that from now on, their children will be allowed to be covered by the family’s insurance plan until the kids are 26. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, because of this bill, college graduates would be able to pursue their dreams instead of worrying about getting their own health insurance right away. They won’t have to find jobs they have no interest in just to get health insurance. On the other hand, some parents might be less than thrilled about their kids not having to find jobs for a few more years.
The new bill will insure 32 million Americans who don’t have insurance now. This might be the most significant and positive part of the health care bill. And to each of you who was opposed to insuring these people: No, all 32 million people will not be in your doctor’s waiting room at the same time, fighting over that three-year-old copy of “People.”
Let’s talk about a few important things the health care bill doesn’t cover. Currently, if you’re five minutes late for a doctor’s appointment, he or she gets angry with you. But if the doctor makes you wait for an hour, you don’t even get an apology. I hope the Senate will be wise enough to address this in a Being Late In A Doctor’s Office Bill. Here’s my suggestion to them: If you’re more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, you pay double. If the doctor’s more than 15 minutes late, your visit is free. I guarantee this problem will go away.
Funds should be set aside for some necessary research. For example, it’s about time medical science figured out why we get the sickest on weekends when our doctors aren’t in their offices. And you know that pain that is so bad that we insist on seeing the doctor right away? Well, someone should discover why it disappears right when we walk into the doctor’s office. And don’t you think they can come up with something better than the paper we have to lie down on when we’re being examined? Doctors used that same kind of paper when they used to bleed people.
What about those gowns? Put this arm in this hole, don’t put that arm in that hole, wrap it around you, then tie it in the back. If you’re in a doctor’s office on Wilshire and the window shade is up, people can see your business all the way down to Pico. I’m sure medical researchers can come up with a better robe. After all, these are the same people who found a solution for “restless leg syndrome.”
One of the most frustrating things about being a patient is getting conflicting opinions from different doctors. I understand that sometimes professionals have different views about things, but there should be some consensus on the questions that trouble us the most. Let’s invest some of that health care money to get a definitive answer to one of the oldest and most important questions in health care: Heat or ice?
Lloyd Garver has written for many television shows, ranging from “Sesame Street” to “Family Ties” to “Home Improvement” to “Frasier.” He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his Web site at lloydgarver.com and his podcasts on iTunes.