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Comment of the Day: Do Celebs and Pols Get Better Health Care?

Posted on October 18 2009 6:40 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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JDamn's logo, showing her blog's primary focus of anti-Islamist commentary. With today's comment of the day she shows that she has worthwhile thoughts on other subjects as well.

JDamn's logo, showing her blog's primary focus of anti-Islamist commentary.

From blogger Jdamn, on David Forsmark’s most recent post.

(Given the length of this excellent comment I won’t be putting it in the quote box like I usually do.)

Hi Julie.  I have to disagree with some of what you wrote, although I agree with most of it.  I am not under the impression that celebrities and politicians receive better care than the rest of us.  Certainly, politicians get much better deals on their healthcare, but I don’t think that they have better access to it.  Celebrities seem to have better access to Elvis doctors who will prescribe them anything and everything than do the rest of us, but they also seem to be more likely have some flak who will seek them out.

I suffer from a little understood, painful, but non-serious condition which requires occasional surgery, particularly because I don’t respond to traditional medication as well as most.  I have been to three specialists for it.  I stopped going to the first after my first surgery because he seemed to have given up on me.  Granted, my condition lies outside of his area of specialty.  The second specialist was probably the best in his field, no exaggeration, but he retired.  It took a few weeks to get an appointment with the third specialist, but he’s an obgyn with many patients who have much greater time constraints than I have to deal with, what with pregnancies and all, plus, again, my condition is not serious, so waiting a few weeks is perfectly reasonable.  Still, I was floored when I went to see him for the first time on a Friday and he told me that he could operate the next Tuesday.  After the surgery he showed me all the pictures he took with the laparoscope so that I could understand exactly what he did and what was going on.

The surgery didn’t cure me, but that’s an ongoing issue, and it has gotten much, much better under his care, with the addition of medication, something I would not have thought possible a year ago.  I’m just a broke kid who had student health insurance at the time of the surgery, and while I had to pay for a lot of the services out of pocket, I have to pay for a lot of things out of pocket, most of them very much worth it.  A few thousand dollars was a very small price to pay for the amazing treatment I received.

I honestly believe that if I were the queen of the world I would not have received better treatment than I have over the course of the last year.  A few thousand dollars wouldn’t be worth as much to me, but the treatment I received absolutely would.  I’m just some broke schmo, but I’m an American, and therefore very lucky to have access to the kind of treatment I received.

My point is that I don’t think that those who are more important than myself have better access to healthcare.  That’s the beauty of the free market system.  I have enough faith in the medical profession to believe that they mostly see patients on an as-needed basis.  Obama so far off when he claimed that doctors operate to make a profit.  I would not have had to wait to see the doctor at all if that were the case, since laparoscopic surgery is more profitable than most of the stuff that obgyns do, but pregnant women face time constraints that I did not, so naturally, they went ahead of me.

Now, here’s where I agree with you 100%: if these leftist wannabe do-gooders had any idea as to the kind of damage they seek to cause through their ‘reforms,’ they would be ashamed to promote it.  It requires a ridiculous amount of denial and faith to think that moving health care to the public sector will improve anything for anyone.  The free market is very much an equal opportunity institution, which is why schmoes like me have access to the world’s best medical care, even if we’re living on student loans.  (That, and I live in Indianapolis, which has more doctors and medical facilities per capita than any other city in the world — that helps.)

Do you know what happens to women with my condition in Canada?  They live with it, which is something I can’t imagine even considering.  I have visited many online forums to discuss this condition, which is endo, and Canadians women invariably say that they wait several months for an ultrasound, something for which I had to wait a whole day, and only because I had to go to a different facility than the student health center, which was where I started.  You have to get an ultrasound to rule out a bunch of stuff, but endo won’t show up on one, so if nothings seems amiss on an ultrasound you usually get diagnosed with endo.  Doctors don’t tell women in Canada any of this.  They go several months not knowing what is wrong with them, then they have to wait several more months for surgery if they’re lucky, and if that doesn’t work (which it rarely does in the long term), they live with it.  I think they get painkillers cheaper, so they do have that going for them.  Basically, Canadian women with endo live the rest of their reproductive lives in pain and usually end up robbed of their fertility, until they get hysterectomies, which is a last resort in the States, and only used for very extreme cases.

And I get something that celebrities and politicians probably don’t.  The medicine I take, which has been an absolute godsend (in addition to my two last doctors), is free!  I get free clinic samples.  Because I’m just some American schmo.

Basically, I disagree with your point that celebrities and politicians have better access to healthcare because I honestly don’t see how schmoes like me could have it any better.  Sure, we could have it cheaper if there we passed tort reform or if we could purchase insurance across state lines (which sounds better in theory than I believe would work in practice, since different states have different laws and that would likely move us toward more federalism), but I don’t think it could be better.  I have it every bit as good as Olbermann’s father.

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