The Healing of America
Our nation’s healthcare has been getting a lot of attention lately.
It’s very ill.
Everyone has an opinion as to the diagnosis.
The bedside is surrounded.
Too much spending… too little spending.
We must insure more people… we’re too dependent on insurance.
Too few options… we need a single payer.
Do more… do less.
Consultants enter the room, one after the other, with arms full of studies and charts and various probes. Our nation looks worried. The consultant’s faces reflect the grim nature of our situation. The crowded room is loud and smells of confusion. Opinions collide.
Not one of the experts look toward the bed. No one talks to the nation.
“A cure may be possible, but this will be a long and painful process,” says one, “and it is going to be very expensive.”
“Oh, yes,” the other consultants nod. “Very expensive.”
In the corner, blocking the window, a large man in a suit says, “Did we mention painful?”
“We told her that,” says a woman in white, “The consent forms are signed.”
“Many of these tests have never been done before, some were tried, but always fail.”
“We even passed legislation to perform some of the more dangerous tests. You would not be able to do this without government assistance. It may take several generations to pay for all of it.” A man in a finely tailored suit placed his briefcase beside the bed. “Some of it will never be paid.” He has an odd smile.
A technician squeezed in next to the computer and was gleefully pounding away at buttons. “I have no idea what some of these do, but we must get this for everyone.”
Our country stirred, rising up to look around the room.
“You lay back down,” said an expert. “We have everything under control. There is nothing you can do to help yourself.” He looks over at the administrator and winks.
Our nation finds the strength to speak. “I want a second opinion.”
A hush falls across the room. The crowd near the door shuffles and a woman enters. She wears a simple cotton dress and a white coat. There is a scuffed stethoscope draped over her shoulder. She looks a little tired.
“I’m so glad you came,” says our country.
The consultants pull back their shoulders and turn their heads. “Who are you?”
Mumbles erupt, “We don’t need her.” “What does she know?” “Show us your data.”
“You’re just a family doctor.”
The woman moves quickly to the bedside and places her hand upon our country.
“OK. Let’s start with some fresh air,” she says, “Everyone out.”
Light cascades across the room, illuminating our nation. “With a little hard work, you are going to be just fine,” says the family physician. “I’ll be here to help you.”
“I feel better already.”