ObamaCare Line – 1

Assuming that ObamaCare is passed into law in America, people may in the future be calling the ObamaCare Line as the first step in receiving medical treatment. Here’s what such a phone call might sound like:


The ObamaCare Line – Estimated Wait Time is 35 Days

Well, as over-the-top and hyperbolic as this video by Concerned Women For America is, every country that has enacted government mandated and administered healthcare has incurred waiting time for treatment that are greatly in excess of what Americans’ are currently used to putting up with.

But hey! Obama’s followers and the rest of the Liberals would call just to enjoy the hold music. πŸ˜‰

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11 Responses to “ObamaCare Line – 1”

  1. zhann Says:

    It’s interesting, but this is something I have been hearing a lot about recently. There is a great deal of press regarding the extremely long wait times in Europe for their health care. Interestingly enough, nobody actually asks the Europeans (well, at least not the GOP), instead making these crazy claims. I have plenty of associates in Germany, Poland, UK and various other European states, and interestingly enough, they have no clue what the GOP is talking about. Even Russia, as backwards as their health care is, doesn’t have this as an issue (although, they have plenty of other issues).

    Of course, there are extreme circumstances where people do in fact wait extremely long times for service. But, on a personal note, as a teenager I went to the emergency room with my big toe crushed by a lawnmower blade (long story). Needless to say, the pain was EXTREME … I was screaming like a little girl for in excess of 5 hours before a doctor came to the conclusion that maybe some pain killers would stop the screaming (the other patients were probably getting scared by that point) … after that, I don’t remember much, but I know that the incident happened early in the morning and I got home in the early evening. Hence, waiting in the USA for help at a hospital is equally common.

  2. jonolan Says:

    zhann,

    That’s part of the joy of sarcasm and sarcastic humor; you don’t have to be completely accurate, just close enough for the point to sting. πŸ˜‰

    On the other hand, you touch upon an interesting point of contention – what waiting times are we defending or bemoaning?

    Wait times in emergency rooms are annoying just about anywhere, and I think they’re fairly comparable across the Civilized World. Waiting times for actual procedures are different though. Countries with socialized medicine have significantly longer waiting times to see a specialist or get a treatment performed than America does.

  3. Kelly Mahan Jaramillo Says:

    Okay, I just wrote a long comment on this, and my sticky girl fingers slipped and hit god knows what and lost it. I am torn between listening to all of them or attempting to start over.

    First off, those concerned women for america just crack me up. I think, if the rest of the audiomercials are from those concerned gals, I may have to abandon my comment here for the moment and listen to all of them.

    I wonder who is watching their kids while they are so busy being concerned??

    See you in a bit…..:)

  4. jonolan Says:

    Kelly,

    Yes; there all from CWFA and are all quite similar in nature and humor value.

  5. Kelly Mahan Jaramillo Says:

    I’m back – and they are pretty damned funny. I really think those concerned women have a future at SNL. πŸ™‚ Funny, too, how the “do you speak English” button is never pressed. CWFA – subversive little minxes!

    Oh a serious note, the healthcare issue here and abroad, re: wait time.

    I had a fallopian tube start acting weird, and was taken to the emergency room, where I was given every test imaginable, and was told it had swollen to the size of a sausage (why, oh why do doctors love to use food when describing a wayward organ), and was about to burst. I was told there was no opening for surgery for three weeks, i was given extremely strong pain medication, and told to go home and “move as little as possible”

    This is a very good hospital, by the way. Magee Women’s Hospital. I am fully insured.

    So, I cannot walk, cannot stand up, without pain like I have never experienced in my life. I was told that if it DID burst, to come right back to the emergency room.

    a) The painkillers were so strong they totally knocked me out, and I wouldn’t feel a piano falling on my head, much less a fallopian tube bursting.
    b) If I did not take the pain killers, the pain was so intense, I would have no idea if the damned thing had burst already or not.

    Three weeks of this. Once, I was sure it had burst, and off to emergency we went, tra-la! Waited for hours, only to find out that it “was about to burst, but if I could just hold very still for the five more days until my scheduled surgery, it would be so much better in the long run” – double the dose of OxyContin, and…..wait.

    My mother-in-law, a normally healthy, vibrant woman with a ton of energy, had a knee operation years ago. The knee has gone bad, she is in so much pain she cannot walk, and there was no surgical opening for her for almost 4 months. She is still waiting, in pain, utterly miserable.

    So – the wait time here is not exactly tip-top.

    Now, lets talk about after your surgery! Again, my experience. I am fully insured, and the bills started pouring in – from a paltry $12 to a rather hefty $956, with about 37 bills in between, ranging from above twelve to under nine hundred. They make no sense, there is no solid % amount deductible, just random out of pocket charges.

    I get to try to call every single department sending me these bills, and the phone calls are not dissimilar to the one above – minus the creepy music. ( the exception of the Harlem Boy’s Choir, Vienna Cathedral Boys Choir, and a few others, children singing generally gets on my nerves. A solo child is usually Damien Thorne).

    Now, I have a few Canadian friends who, at various times, have broken their limbs – the wait time was no different than the wait time here, whether you are on the phone, in the emergency room, or just managed to get the earliest appointment, sometime in January 2010.

    However, my Canadian friends, after their wait time and subsequent surgery, receive no bills, receive follow up care, no bills, and receive physical therapy, no bills.

    Considering our “wait time” is really not all that different than the countries with socialized medicine, personally, I would prefer to have my aftercare hassle free, without all of the nonsense I have to deal with now.

    That’s just me.

    I am curious, jonolan – we got to touch briefly on this subject on Saturday – you seemed to wish for a more improved healthcare system also, and you do not like the idea of socialized medicine, for reasons that you have every right to dislike and distrust. Yet this ‘Capitalist’ model is a huge nightmare, you have to admit.

    What would your idea of a better system be? I ask in all sincerity, not being a smart-ass. I would really like to hear what you think might work better than what we have now, yet not fall under the purview of the government.

  6. Aminta Says:

    Hi Jonolan,
    Good meeting you guys on Saturday, and since you’ve touched on my favorite subject, I feel it behooves me to respond.

    While I appreciate the efforts of the Concerned Women to highlight the potential bureaucracy that will befall us in the brave new world, they forget the bureaucracy in which we find ourselves entrenched everyday. I won’t belabor the point about wait times – I’ll let Kel have the floor on that one. What amuses me about the right wing opposition to Obama’s healthcare plan is that, uh, it seems pretty tailor-made for their needs. Mandatory Insurance? That sounds like mandatory consumerism to me, and while I am completely opposed to it, I find it very odd that the same folks who were for the TARP bailouts are opposed to it. Why? This the same merry band with special interests and investments in big companies, be they banks or health insurance companies.

    The healthcare debate has grown far too black and white for my liking. I honestly can’t understand why the right is opposed to it. It’s the left that should be screaming bloody murder. This issue is an example of how partisan politics cloud the very core of reform.

    So is this hoopla really about the public option? The “public option” is a pathetic excuse for reform, and not, by any stretch of imagination, even partly useful in a grand vision of what the health care system in this country should be.

    Yes, when they finally talk about Single Payer let the Concerned Women tout their bull about socialism. Until then, let’s just all agree that this is a lame theater of reform with no true meaning.

    And when they DO talk about Single Payer, I’ll be the first to run over the CWA with a truck. It is the only meaningful option that this country has. More on my views on health care can be found here: http://culturaldyslexia.blogspot.com/

  7. jonolan Says:

    All,

    I’m glad you found some humor in the CWFA’s videos. I figured that the bulk of the Conservatives would find them amusing as a form of sarcasm and that the bulk of the Liberals would find them amusing as a means of lampooning CWFA. Of course I also figured that the hardcore members of both groups would take them more seriously, either in approval or outrage. πŸ˜‰

    Those latter groups were where I thought I might get my greatest chance at biting humor. πŸ˜‰

    Kelly,

    Yes, you got somewhat screwed-over by the system, and I’m unsure of exactly how and why that happened since I’ve had much better results over the years than you seem to have had.

    I should point out too that waiting times in Canada and the UK have vastly improved over the last decade. They had to and those governments spent literally billions making the needed improvements – and they have much, much smaller populations.

    True though, your foreign friends received no direct bills for their care. They were in countries with completely socialized medicine, as opposed to either the current American way or the proposed Obama way. They pay for their care, needed or not, through much higher taxes than Americans currently suffer under.

    Oddly, Canadians just fought tooth and nail – successfully – to be allowed to have private medical care and insurance again. It seems that they weren’t satisfied with a purely government ran solution…

    One thing though that your experience points out – Having health insurance doesn’t positively address the availability or quality of care you can receive. It can only worsen the situation if the doctor you need or want doesn’t accept the plan your on. That’s currently an ongoing and worsening problem for Medicare and Medicaid recipients. πŸ™

    How would improve America’s healthcare system?

    Frankly, I don’t know and I’m not completely sure that it even “needs” improvement, or at least improvement that can be done via laws.

    America has an odd view of healthcare. It’s really illness management and injury repair rather than healthcare per se. Until that philosophy shifts, we’re going to have continued raises in costs.

    As a stop gap measure I’d prefer to focus on addressing: separating health insurance from employment, some level of tort reform to cut down on “defensive medicine,” standardization of claims forms and suchlike, and researching a way of reducing the costs of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

  8. jonolan Says:

    Aminta,

    First off – Welcome! I’m really glad you stopped by Reflections From A Murky Pond. Both Eve and I had a lot one with you four on Saturday. That’s somewhat of a rarity for me; I’m not exactly a “people person,” as you might have guessed. πŸ˜‰

    You bring up an interesting point – mandatory consumerism. Requiring everyone to purchase health insurance certainly sounds like that – at least at first glance. I’m not sure if it’s actually consumerism though when the government wants to use tax dollars to subsidize the purchase (current proposed cut-off is at 3x poverty level, so approx. 90K annual income for a family of four) and wants a government ran set of plans to “compete” with private insurance. You can see my views of that here.

    You also bring up a valid point about the oddity of who’s complaining and who’s not, and why they’re supposedly doing or not doing so respectively. TARP – and the Auto Bail-Out – was just wrong in my opinion.

    But…If one supports TARP how can one complain about ObamaCare, which is just another bail-out and one that provides direct palliative effect for individuals as well as corporations? And by converse measurement, if one was against TARP, how can one be in favor of ObamaCare?

    I think it devolves to a couple of reasons:

    1. In some cases it’s based on Obama or Party. Some will fight against anything Obama and the Democrats do, just as some fight for anything Obama and the Democrats do. In the latter case, this seems more true of the followers of Obama than of the Democrats in general.
    2. Straight-up, unadulterated classism – There are some on the Right who despise the poor and care little for them except as a labor pool. Even more so on the Left there a people who hate the wealthy and want to see them brought low and be forced to pay some form of “reparations” for their success.

    Now, as for Single Payer – I’m afraid I’d have to shoot the tires out from under your truck on your way over to flatten the CWFA. πŸ˜‰

    I firmly believe that, at this point, attempting to mandate a Single Payer system would destroy the American economy. It also goes against the ideals that America – even now a very successful nation – was founded under. Maybe if they’d done it during the Great Depression or earlier it would be workable and therefor only an ideological argument, but that’s not the direction America went and some roads don’t allow u-turns…

  9. shannon Says:

    I live in Slovenia, which has mandatory insurance, and it costs;

    the people here definitely have wait times, 35 days is not a joke;

    however, the waits apply to:
    A – non-emergencies doctor visits
    B – standard insurance policies

    So, regarding A: if you have an emergency you do the same thing as Americans do – go to the ER and take a number;

    And, regarding B: if you have a premium plan ( cash ), you can have your bladder checked this afternoon;

    The arguments that Slovenians have are:
    A – poor people are required to have insurance, which has roughly the same cost as a basic policy in America;
    B – wealthy people feel cheated that they have to pay extra for special attention;
    C – small businesses DO feel stressed that they have legal obligations to provide health care to employees;

    My opinion is that health care should be for everyone, and any other complicated repercussions as a result of a mandated national health care system can be dealt with thereafter;

    Shannon

  10. jonolan Says:

    shannon,

    Is the required health insurance subsidized through taxes in Slovenia? If not, how do the poor afford it?

    As for those “complicated repercussions,” how much unemployment is worth healthcare for everyone? Really! I’m asking this in all seriousness.

  11. Kelly Mahan Jaramillo Says:

    Wow, it is interesting to get everybody’s different take on this issue. And it is getting might lively! Trucks running over Concerned Groups! Snipers taking aim at truck tires! Concerned Women running screaming in all directions! Madness! Bedlam!

    Jonolan, regarding your comment about my troubles getting an appointment – when I was in my twenties and thirties, it was never like this – I am not sure what has changed. My doctors were fantastic, once i got the damned appointment. I have no complaint there. This “wait-time” does not seem to be an issue with just me – people outside of my mother-in-law are experiencing it also. Both back in LA and here in Pitt. Perhaps, in an oblique way,that ties in with your pointing out the smaller population of the other countries – America has gotten a lot more people in the last thirty years, and the ratio of the sick or hurt to the ratio of hospitals and doctors might be out of balance.

    You, Aminta, and Shannon all make very valid points, all worth re-reading, digging around in, chewing on.

    I wanted to point out that one of my Canadian friends was always cranky because she thought she made much higher taxes than I did, and I often pointed out that it was due to her medical care, and frankly, I was not getting taxed, I was in a Union, where it was taken out of my wages for my automatic Motion Picture Health Insurance.

    She was in a different field than I, and yet we made roughly the same amount of money – imaging my surprise when we compared taxes, and hers were maybe $5 – $10 more than mine. She was shocked.

    I very much like your take on the actual wording – it is not really “healthcare” so much as “illness/injury management”. Imagine if the collective perspective shifted to this view. Talk about building a brand new beast from square one, but ultimately probably a well trained beast for future generations.

    With the exception of separating insurance from employment, I like the rest of your ‘stop-gap’ measures – and I would prefer having health insurance through my job knowing that it was not breaking the business owners back to provide it. Which brings us all around full circle to costs.

    I am curious, as I did not know that Canada fought for private insurance and won – do they have both options now? Is that possible? And if so, isn’t that what the President is trying to get on the table? Simply having more choices?

    As we had touched upon Saturday, before healthcare reform truly became front and center (poor Hillary’s 900+ page proposal was not even read by anyone in Congress, Repubs or Dems – it never had a chance) everybody hated their HMO’s. Now they are screaming bloody murder that they are happy as clams with what they have.

    Do you think it is possible that the very IDEA of change is half of what is making this issue so heated?

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