A Tale of Two Health Care Systems

Here’s a tidbit on healthcare in light of (but not in response to) Obama’s speech last night: Mike Dunford tells a compelling story today at The Questionable Authority:

Yesterday, I took the kids to the doctor for their school physicals. I wouldn’t normally subject you to an account of the day-to-day minutia of my personal life, but given the current debate about how we should handle health care in the United States, the details might be of interest.

We arrived – without an appointment – at a medical facility that we had not been to before. We did not have medical records with us, and the only paperwork of any kind that we had brought were the forms that needed to be filled out to enroll the kids in sports programs. When we checked in, the only thing I had to do was hand the clerk a government-issued photo ID. I did not have to fill out any insurance forms, I did not have to hand over any payment of any kind, and I didn’t touch a clipboard. Within two hours, both the children had been seen by a doctor, received physical exams, had their shot records checked and brought up to date where necessary, and I’d been given the completed school and sports forms.

That’s not fiction, and it’s not a prediction of what could happen in the future. That happened yesterday, it happened in the United States, and it happened in a health care system that’s owned and operated by the Federal Government. That’s right. I got to use the dreaded socialized medicine yesterday, because I’ve got access to the Department of Defense’s medical system. We didn’t have to fill out forms yesterday because all the paperwork that needed to be done to switch our primary care doctor from one in Florida to one in Alabama was done when my wife checked in to her new assignment. We didn’t need to bring records, because both facilities have access to the same electronic system. All that the clinic needed to access the records was my wife’s information.

Read more at Salon.

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