What’s up, Doc?

“All right, Mr. Golden, open up and say, ‘aaaaaaaaahhh.’”

“Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh ...”

“Very good. Now I want you to lay back and take a couple of deep breaths for me so I can listen to your breathing ... hmm ... OK ... very good.”

“So, Doc, what’s the prognosis?”

“Well, to be quite honest, I’m not really sure. Which is why I’m ordering a full battery of tests, as well as blood work and a CAT scan.”

“Umm ... is all of that really necessary, Doc?”

“Again, I’m not really sure. But you know what they say, better to be safe than sorry, right?”

And this, my friends, is why I don’t go to the doctor anymore. This and the way hospital staff members’ eyes would light up when informed that I had no health insurance, back in the day before I came to write for our hometown daily.

What can I say? Unless I’m – literally – on my death bed, I really don’t want anything to do with the hospital ... any hospital. Trust me, it’s not that I don’t think they know what they’re doing, they’re highly paid professionals, right? No, it’s simply that I can’t afford – even with insurance – to pay for a service that has no guarantee of success.

You know, the whole “take two of these and call me in the morning” thing. But what happens when – after you’ve paid for “two of those” – you’re still feeling ill? Do I get a refund? Is the doctor who prescribed said medicine going to pay for services rendered out of his own pocket?

Somehow, I doubt it.

Needless to say, the healthcare (and healthcare reform) issue that continues to be debated by both right and left-wingers is a complicated one. And I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no expert on the topic. Yet there are a few questions that always seem to spring to mind whenever I take a moment to consider healthcare reform, like this one ... isn’t our government’s current policy in regards to military veteran’s and their healthcare a form of ... gasp ... socialism? Ahh, but veterans are government employees and therefore deserve special treatment (kind of like the politicians on Capital Hill with their lifetime reward of free healthcare, right?).

Which begs the question ... just what is your average American’s role in government? Aren’t we all government employees in some way, shape or form? Particularly those of us who pay for our government in the form of taxes? Wait a minute, isn’t this supposed to be a country of, by and for the people? And wouldn’t that make us the ones in charge?

And now – as is typical whenever I happen to ponder our country’s now-senseless set of priorities, rules and policies – I’m ... somehow ... beyond confused.

One week later ...

“Well, Mr. Golden, we got your tests back and ... good news! ... everything looks just fine. How are you feeling?”

“I’m great, Doc, feeling like a million bucks.”

“Good, good, I’m glad to hear it. Here’s your bill, by the way.”

“Uh, Doc? This says I owe you $7,500.”

“Yes, yes it does. What can I say? Those blood tests and CAT scans don’t come cheap.”

“But, Doc, you didn’t find anything with either the tests or the scans. In fact, I’m still wondering what, if anything, was wrong with me in the first place.”

“That’s neither here nor there, Mr. Golden, please just pay your bill.”

“But I can’t afford this ... and you didn’t actually do anything to help me.”

“So what are you trying to tell me, Mr. Golden? You think healthcare should be what? Affordable? Free? What do you think this is, a free country?”

Some tidbits for thought ...

According to the United Health Foundation’s Health Rankings, the annual improvement in America’s health over the past decade has declined approximately 70 percent; approximately 30 percent of people in the United States are obese and approximately 9 percent of people in America have diabetes.

The fact of the matter is this: healthcare in America is quite possibly one of the most important issues we are facing today. Our politicians – once again – have failed to put the interests of the many over their own and – as is the case more and more these days – this all comes down to money. It’s not all that complicated, though, if you really think about it. To put it simply, if you were a politician, who would you support? Your constituents or the companies and industries that line your pockets?

Anymore, ethics and honesty are reserved for those who can’t afford a better lifestyle, who just happen to be the majority here in America.

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunbrian.

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