Monday, March 27, 2006

Here, Bite This Bullet

You are scheduled for surgery. While waiting for care you are given advance surgical prep meds to relax you. The orderly arrives at your room, transfers you to a gurney, and rolls you to the surgical arena.

Once you are moved to the operating room masked people appear. The people are surrounded by shiny steel equipment designed to monitor and assist in the procedure.

As the surgeon approaches one of the attendings reaches in their shirt pocket and withdraws a single bullet. “Open your mouth and bite down really hard on this bullet”.


Maybe not, particularly if you have Medicare.

Imagine you need a life saving cardiac operation for your severely diseased and failing heart. Then imagine your surprise when you find out that your Medicare government health insurance pays less than 40% of what private insurances reimburse anesthesiologists for the same procedure! Now imagine your concern when you learn that because of such poor reimbursement rates only a scant few anesthesiologists in your area will provide services for cardiac surgical cases when the insurer is Medicare!

Welcome to universal health care . . .
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