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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
January 23, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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January 23, 1997

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8 Thursday, January 23, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette An alternative to Health Care madness When I was young, we had one doctor in town. His name was Dr. Coogan. No one had health insurance and if you got really sick, you went to Dr. Coogan and he gave you a shot of penicillin. You always knew that if you went to Dr. Coogan, you were going to get a shot of penicillin and it was going to hurt like the dickens. No one ever went to Dr. Coogan unless they were really sick. If you were so sick that your parents were sure you were going to die, then they called Dr. Coogan and he made a house call. House calls are such a thing of the past that some readers won't even know what I'm talking about. Believe it or not, there was a time when if you were really, really sick yourparent could call the operator. She would connect you with the doctor's office. They would explain the problem and the doctor would come to your house and fix you up. It was called a house call. It cost $7 for a house call that was twice the going rate for an office visit. No one ever called for a house call unless it was a definite life and death emergency. The majority of the family had to vote for it. Dad's vote counted for 90%. The rest of the family's vote counted for 10%. If it was a majority vote to have a house call, then so be it. We didn't have too many house calls when I was growing up but then again, we didn't have too many deaths in the family either, unless you counted the horned toad, the two lizards and the chipmunk. My two sisters and I counted these but Dad did not. He not only refused to vote for a house call, he wouldn't even go along for an office call and its mandatory shot of penicillin. Oh, by the way, the $3.50 for the office call included the shot of penicillin whether you needed it or not. You didn't get it if you didn't need it. If Dr. Coogan thought that you were faking it, he'd give you a syringe full of sugar water in the hind quarter and he wouldn't be kind about it and no one ever tried to fake it more than once; I can tell you that. Anyway, now almost everybody has this thing called health insurance. It' s an interesting thing to watch. People lie and cheat and steal to get it and once they get it they $10 per month Equipment Rental stand on each other's shoulders to see who can get there the fastest for the mostest. Being sick don't seem to have too much to do with anything anymore. It costs so much This Man's Opinion by Brent Mathewson money that if you're in the program, no one feels they can afford to not use it. Everyone wastes their share plus whoever else's share whose shoulders they happen to be standing on. The health care system in the U.S. presently costs over 400 billion dollars a year and that's not an exaggeration and you ain't seen nothing yet. When Medicare was introduced in 1965, it was budgted at $2 billion and was projected with allowances made for infla- "To bill anyone $14,072 for a one-day stay in the hospital, is dishonest and irresponsible. " tion to cost $10 billion by 1990. The real figure for 1990 was $67 billion. A few years ago we were told that Hillary had a plan that would start out at $30 billion to $100 billion a year. That' s real cute. How would you like to buy a used car and be told it will cost between $3,000 and $10,000? Just sign on the dotted line and they will let you know in a day or two what the real figure will be. You say you wouldn't sign such a document and I say you not only would but you already have and when given an opportunity to can- cel it, you won't. If you'll bear with me a little while longer, I'll prove it. The Health Care System in this country is so out of whack that anyone that can't see it is standing upside down with his head in the sand up to his ankles. There are a lot of big secrets in this country that needn't be secret at all. All we have to do is open our eyes and look. The health care system is a major ex- ample. The system is de- signed to be abused. We didn't get to where we are today by accident but by design and where we are headed tomorrow is also being designed. The insurance compa- nies, the pharmaceutical corporations and the major hos- pital chains are all owned by the same people. This is not free enterprise. It seems ridiculous to have to say it hut people own those corporations, and one of the last things they want you to realize is that this is a fact. The Vanderbilts, the Fords, the Rothchilds, the Rockefellers, the Krupps - and the list does no go on and on - a select few families own controlling interest in a very major corpora- tion in the U.S. that has anything to do with health care. Controlling interest does not mean that they have to have 51% of a stock, although in some cases this is true. Five percent of the stock in any of these corporations is enough to ensure a seat on the board of directors and if you' ve got a family member on the board of directors, you've got controlling interest. What can we really do collectively or indi- vidually about the mess our country's health care system is in? There is one thing we can do and two ways to do it. If you do it as an individual, you simply get off the merry-go- round and your worries about the expense of health care are behind you. If we did it collec- tively, the whole damn bloody mess of our health care system would come crashing to the ground. As an individual, the first thing you've got to do is quit going to the doctor every time you've got a bloody nose. I mean quit period - unless it's a life-threatening situation like a compound fracture of the leg, not some little dinky thing like a broken bone in your foot. A year or two ago my wife, Renie, broke her foot. What did she do? We borrowed a couple of crutches, stabilized it in an ace bandage, fed her more than a few aspirins and kept her weight off it. She spent a lot of time working jigsaw puzzles for a few weeks and 6 weeks later she was as good as new. You would be surprised, at least we were, how many people asked her how she expected her foot to heal if she didn't get it x-rayed. Collectively, if everyone would immediately cancel all insurance policies that had anything to do with health care, this problem could be resolved in very short order. Anyone not willing to do that is willing to buy that used car I talked about for $3 - 10 thousand. We should homestead our property. It costs $15. In this state, you can homestead your mobile home. If you do come down with that broken leg, you' ve got to be prepared to use some common sense and protect yourself financially, pay what you can afford if you absolutely must use part of the health care system. Renie and I figure that in our case, that would be about $1 per month, give or take 10%. You may say that would be dishonest and irresponsible. To bill anyone $14,072 for a one-day stay in the hospital, is dishonest and irresponsible. That figure is not an exaggeration or a misprint. That is the average billed price per day to stay in a Las Vegas hospital today. Of course, that does not include any doctor bills. $14,072 per day! Wow! I wonder if you get to ke your clothes off before they do that to you. That is this man's opinion. Decorative Colored Rock Professional Landscape Design & Placement Rockscapes Desert stapes Tropical Designs Lawns Gardens Sprinklers Dr/p systems Planters Riverbeds Waterfalls Fountains Ponds Patios Concrete Curbing Decks Walkways Accent lighting Brick Commercial or Resident/al SAVE MONEY DO IT YOURSELF II OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK On Rachel Court, East of Vieki Ann, South of Manse