My mind has been spinning around the healthcare system in the US this week. I'd call it a crisis, but that might be a bit dramatic.
My general feeling is that we as Americans need to decide that it's worth spending taxpayer money to fund affordable health care for our countrymen. We have decided that regarding education, and it's doing well for us, for the most part. How exactly this needs to get worked out isn't settled in my head - when I come up with the perfect solution I'll let you all know.
The current medicaid system is not a functional piece of the puzzle. We need some BIG changes there. And I'd start with just a small co-pay.
Virtually all patients have co-pays, to see their PCP, a specialist, or to go to the ER. Except medicaid patients.
There needs to be a small barrier to entry, to help deter overuse. I never see private pay patients who bring in two extra kids "just to get them checked" with the one that was really sick, because it would cost them an extra $40 in co-pays. I don't know about you, but I can usually find a cute pair of shoes on Zappos for $40 (OK, they weren't $40, but they are cute). But medicaid patients pay nothing to be seen, so might as well pack 'em in.
I saw a medicaid patient this morning who said she'd felt drunk ever since she woke up. She literally still had pillow marks on her face. She had been in not 14 hours before for another self-limited complaint that had - don't be shocked - resolved.
If she had just a $2 copay, I bet she would have checked her own (normal) blood sugar at home instead of having me do it.
Affordable health care, yes. Free health care, no.
And I'm all for cheap shoes.