Sunday, November 23, 2003

Return with me now, to those thrilling days of yesteryear....

I guess you'd have to be at least fifty years of age to remember when gov't had almost nothing to do with health care. There was the employer-supplied major medical insurance, but I don't know if there was any gov't involvement in that--maybe.

As for the normal, day-to-day health needs, it was all out of pocket. Oddly, and impossibly to today's mindset, we could afford it. It wasn't always easy, but we could.

My dad worked for the railroad. He started out as a telegraph operator, then followed the improvements in technology over the years to the fellow who radioed orders to the trainmen. Not an overly lucrative kind of work. I guess we were middle-class. Mom didn't work until my youngest brother was entering his teens. She started working then, mainly to give herself a little spending money to buy a few things she wanted outside the family budget.

When any of us got sick, of course first Mom tried to care for us. Actually, that worked out fine more often than not. If we had to see a doctor, we went. The doctor did his stuff, then sent us a bill. We paid the bill. That was it. No copays. No forms. No approvals. No big book of participating "care-givers." --As if a physician's task is to "give care!" --Like a cow's job is to "give milk." This New-Age lingo makes me ill. -- Our doctor knew us. He liked us--at least, he seemed to. He was happy to see us and to do what it took to make us feel better.

Col. Hogan