Don't get me wrong, I still believe America has the best health care system in the world, and there are plenty of great physicians and hospitals. But there is no doubt in my mind that we are headed down a slippery slope. The doctor-patient relationship is declining, and bedside manners are escaping the newest generation of physicians. All of the talk of electronic records, managed practices and preventative care has really ended up as part of a giant addition to the medical world's bureaucracy. Try getting the full electronic file after an extended stay at a hospital. You will get what they want you to get, and it may be a lot or it may be a lot of nothing.
But no matter how much the drug companies charge, or what the insurance companies do to raise rates, or however hard it is to actually reach your physician, one thing we don't need is more government regulation. Government regulation and alleged innovation have likely contributed to this mess. What we need is doctors freed of red tape paperwork, insurance companies free to compete in whatever states they choose and the free market to bring us back to where we used to be in this country.
All of that said, dealing with health care has become a big pain -- but maybe that's primarily because I'm older now and have to deal with it more often.
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