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by user Jaxhawk

Socialized Medicine Up Close and Personal

Barack Obama is issuing the following call in a speech in Washington recently: "The time has come for universal health care in America." Obama is now the second Dem candidate to make universal health care a central issue in his campaign; John Edwards issued his call for it earlier this year.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is planning on resuscitating some of the ideas in her failed health care effort in the mid-nineties as part of an effort to directly confront her potential vulnerability on the issue. With Obama taking a stand for what Hillary tried to pull off in the first year of her husbands Presidency, socialized medicine. I believe it is appropriate to reprint my experience with socialized medicine. The following is a true story!

IN THE GREAT STATE OF OREGON, ONE OF THE PRETTIEST STATES IN THE U.S.. FORMER GOV. JOHN KITZHABER [1] , CREATOR OF THE OREGON HEALTH PLAN IS SUPPORTING AN EFFORT TO MAKE HEALTH CARE A RIGHT!

THE "HOPE INITIATIVE" DRAFTED BY SENATORS ALAN BATES,BEN WETLAND AND REP. MITCH GREEENBECK WOULD AMEND THE OREGON CONSTITUTION TO SAY THAT HEALTH CARE IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT! THE INITIATIVE THEY DRAFTED FURTHER STATES THAT THE STATE LEGISLATURE WILL DEVELOP A PLAN BY 2009. NO MENTION IN THE INITIATIVE ABOUT THE POSSIBLE COSTS. NOT ONLY DOES THE U.S. CONSTITUTION NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT HEALTH CARE RIGHTS, BUT THIS INITIATIVE IS NOTHING MORE THAN BLATANT SOCIALISM WHICH WOULD ROB FROM THE "HAVES" TO PAY FOR THE "HAVE NOTS".THIS IS NOTHING MORE OR LESS BUT WHAT THE GREAT SENATOR FROM NEW YORK, HILLARY CLINTON, TRIED TO DO BEHIND CLOSED DOORS THE FIRST YEAR HER HUSBAND WAS PRESIDENT. I USUALLY DON'T WRITE ABOUT MYSELF IN THESE FLEDGLING ATTEMPTS TO BE A BLOGGER. BUT THIS SUBJECT IS SOMETHING I CAN WRITE ABOUT FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. A YEAR AGO THIS PAST MAY I, MY WIFE AND MY YOUNGEST SON WERE IN ROME FOR OUR 32ND ANNIVERSARY WHEN I AWOKE IN A HOTEL ROOM AROUND 5A.M WITH THE DREADED "ELEPHANT SITTING ON MY CHEST!" YES, IT WAS A HEART ATTACK! I WAS SCARED AS HELL! IN ITALY THEY HAVE TOTAL SOCIALIZED MEDICINE---EVEN FOR VISITORS FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES. KIND OF LIKE OUR MEDICAID PROGRAM FOR ILLEGAL MEXICANS. I DID NOT KNOW THIS UNTIL I CHECKED OUT OF THE HOSPITAL 4 DAYS LATER TO FLY HOME FOR DEFINITIVE TREATMENT OF MY HEART. BUT AT ANY RATE AN AMBULANCE FINALLY CAME TO OUR HOTEL AROUND 7:30 AND TOOK ME TO A LARGE HOSPITAL NEAR THE ITALIAN PARLIAMENT. THE RIDE ITSELF WAS AN EXPERIENCE. SIRENS BLARING AND WEAVING IN AND OUT OF TRAFFIC I WAS LUCKY I WAS STRAPPED IN. WHEN I GOT TO SAN JACQUI MO HOSPITAL I WAS ROLLED INTO A HALLWAY WHERE I WAITED FOR 30 MIN. OR SO. WHEN A NURSE WHO COULDN'T SPEAK ENGLISH TRIED TO GET MY HISTORY,ETC. FROM A PERSON WHO SPEAKS SPANISH FAIRLY WELL, BUT KNEW ONLY A FEW WORDS OF ITALIAN. AFTER SOME TIME THEY GAVE ME A SHOT THAT RELIEVED MY PAIN,DREW BLOOD AND ROLLED ME BACK OUT INTO THE HALLWAY WITH DOZENS OF OTHER PATIENTS. FINALLY A DOCTOR CAME TO TELL ME IN FAIRLY GOOD ENGLISH THAT YES I HAD A HEART ATTACK. HE TOLD ME THE CARDIAC CARE WARD WAS FULL, BUT HE WOULD TRY AND GET ME A BED IN THE SURGICAL WARD. SOME HOURS LATER I WAS TRANSPORTED TO A ROOM THAT HAD TO BE UNLOCKED BEFORE THEY COULD ROLL ME IN, AND WAS LOCKED AS SOON AS I ENTERED. HAVING OVER 30 YEARS AS AN ORAL SURGEON ON THE STAFFS OF TWO HOSPITALS I WAS SUDDENLY TRANSPORTED INTO THIRD WORLD MEDICINE! INSIDE THE ROOM WERE FOUR BEDS.THREE OF WHICH WERE OCCUPIED BY MAJOR SURGERY POST OPERATIVE PATIENTS. ONE LADY HAD A MASTECTOMY. ONE MAN HAD A THROAT OPERATION, AND THE THIRD WAS A LADY HAD SOME TYPE OF ABDOMINAL SURGERY. I WAS THE ONLY ONE WITHOUT A HEALING WOUND. THE FIRST THING THEY DID WAS PUSH A LARGE CATHETER,WITHOUT LUBRICATION, UP MY URETHRA. THAT MADE ME BLEED INTO THE PLASTIC BAG ATTACHED TO THE CATHETER FOR TWO DAYS. THERE WAS JUST ONE WINDOW IN THE ROOM, AND IT WAS WIDE OPEN WITH NO SCREEN ON IT! THIS WAS A ROOM FOR SURGERY PATIENTS HOPING TO RECOVER AND THE FLYS WERE MERRILY FLYING IN AND OUT OF THE WINDOW. AFTER THE IVs WERE INSERTED IN MY ARMS. I WAS AWARE THAT ALL THE DRESSINGS REMOVED FROM THE SURGERY PATIENTS WERE BEING PLACED IN AN OPEN BOX LINED WITH A PLASTIC BAG ABOUT 4 FEET FROM MY BED NEXT TO THE LOCKED DOOR. THE IV THAT WAS PUT IN HAD PUNCTURED MY VEIN WALL AND ABOUT AN HOUR LATER MY RIGHT FOREARM WAS SWOLLEN AND HURT LIKE BLAZES. SINCE NO ONE IN THE ROOM COULD UNDERSTAND A WORD OF ENGLISH. I YELLED THE UNIVERSAL DISTRESS, "HELP" AS LOUD AS I COULD. IF I HAD KNOWN WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO "JUST GEORGE", AS THEY LEARNED TO CALL ME,I MAY HAVE BEEN SILENT. I WAS ABOUT TO BECOME A PIN CUSHION FOR TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE I THOUGHT WERE NURSES. I MIGHT HAVE SAID NOTHING EVEN THOUGH I KNEW IT WASN'T INSERTED CORRECTLY IF I KNEW THEY WERE GOING TO JAB ME SO MANY TIMES WITH LARGE NEEDLES. FINALLY AFTER RIPPING UP MY VEINS IN BOTH FOREARMS THEY CALLED A FEMALE DOCTOR TO HELP. SHE SPOKE ENGLISH AND HAD THE IV IN MY HAND ON THE FIRST TRY. NICE LADY, BUT I NEVER SAW HER AGAIN. SINCE THERE WAS NO IV INSERTED FOR ABOUT THREE HOURS THEY STARTED TO STICK ME IN THE BELLY WITH INJECTABLE HEPARIN,TO ATTACK THE CLOT IN MY CORONARY. I VAGUELY REMEMBER 8 OR TEN JABS IN THE BELLY WHICH MADE MY STOMACH LOOK LIKE I WENT TEN ROUNDS WITH "JOE LOW BLOW" BOXER! AT DINNER TIME I LEARNED THAT THE HOSPITAL PROVIDED NEITHER FOOD NOR WATER, NOR TOILET PRODUCTS SUCH AS SOAP AND TOOTHBRUSH. THEY EXPECTED THE RELATIVES OF THE PATIENTS TO BRING IN THE FOOD,ETC. THE ONLY THING THEY PROVIDED THREE TIMES A DAY WAS A GRUEL LIKE WATERED DOWN SOUP AND 3 "ZWIEBACK" TYPE CRACKERS. I LOST 12 POUNDS IN FOUR DAYS! FINALLY ON THE MORNING OF THE THIRD DAY I WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE CARDIAC CARE UNIT. IT WAS LIKE GETTING BACK TO THE 21ST CENTURY! THE ONLY PROBLEM WAS THEY ONLY HAD FOUR BEDS! IN THIS LARGE VERY STERILE LOOKING ROOM WITH THE NURSES STATION BEHIND A DOOR AND LARGE WINDOWS WITH NO CALL BUTTON AT ANY BED. YOU WERE ON YOUR OWN. THE REAL CLOSE CALL CAME LATER THAT DAY. I HAD BEEN PUT ON AN IV DRIP OF NITROGLYCERIN AND AN IV WITH SOME NARCOTIC, PROBABLY MORPHINE, FOR PAIN. THERE WAS A VERY NICE CARDIOLOGIST WHO COULD SPEAK ENGLISH WELL ENOUGH FOR ME TO COMMUNICATE WITH HIM, BUT HE ONLY CAME IN ONCE A DAY. THE PROBLEM DEVELOPED WHEN I TOLD HIM I WAS STILL HAVING SOME CHEST PAIN. HE ORDERED A SLIGHT INCREASE IN THE NARCOTIC AND NITROGLYCERIN DRIP. THE DRUGS MADE ME SLEEPY AND I DRIFTED OFF TO SLEEP FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THREE DAYS. I WAS TOO SCARED TO FALL ASLEEP IN THE SURGERY ROOM AS THE STAFF SPENT MOST OF THEIR TIME DAY AND NIGHT BEHIND A CLOSED DOOR JUST OUTSIDE THE WARD. AT NIGHT THE "HANK-PANKY" GOING ON WOULD WAKE THE DEAD! WHILE I WAS SLEEPING, THE SHIFTS CHANGED, AND APPARENTLY THE "NURSE" WHO HAD INCREASED MY IV DRIP HAD NOT MADE A NOTE IN MY CHART. SO WHEN THE NEW CREW CAME IN THEY INCREASED THE AMOUNT OF NARCOTIC AN NITRO DRIP. A SHORT TIME LATER WHEN I AWOKE, LUCKILY, I BEGAN TO GO BLIND. EVERYTHING GREW BLACK, AND I THOUGHT I WAS DYING! APPARENTLY MY BLOOD PRESSURE DROPPED TO 50/30 AND ALL I COULD DO WAS WAVE MY HANDS AND TRY TO YELL HELP. LUCKY FOR ME A NEW NIGHT DOCTOR WAS IN THE NURSES STATION AND SAW ME WAVING FRANTICALLY. HE CAME AND AFTER CHECKING MY BLOOD PRESSURE HAD THE NURSING STAFF RAISE THE FOOT OF MY BED SO HIGH I SLIPPED UP TO THE HEADBOARD, BUT IT SAVED MY LIFE ALONG WITH THE IV INJECTIONS OF MEDS.TO RAISE BLOOD PRESSURE.THAT WAS AS CLOSE AS I HAD EVER COME TO HAVING A STROKE. ON THE FOURTH DAY MY WIFE, MY SON AND I DECIDED THIS HOSPITAL WAS DANGEROUS TO MY HEALTH AND MADE UP OUR MINDS TO FLY BACK TO THE U.S. I TOLD THE DOCTOR, WHO SPOKE ENGLISH, THAT I WANTED TO GO HOME. BUT HE INSISTED I MUST STAY AND HAVE A HEART CATHETERIZING IN THE MORNING. I ASKED HIM IF I WAS IN A PRISON OR COULD I SIGN MYSELF OUT AGAINST HIS ADVICE. AFTER A LENGTHY TALK WITH HIS SUPERIORS HE BROUGHT ME THE RELEASE PAPERS TO SIGN. FOR ALL I KNOW THEY COULD BE A DEATH WARRANT OR DEED TO MY HOUSE AS THEY WERE IN ITALIAN. I SIGNED THE PAPERS AND TOOK A CAB TO THE HOTEL. THE NEXT DAY WE FLEW HOME IN A 747 WITH NITRO PATCHES CHANGED EVERY FOUR HOURS AND ROOM ENOUGH FOR ME TO LIE DOWN AND SLEEP MOST OF THE 10 HOUR FLIGHT. THUS ENDED MY EXPERIENCE WITH TOTALLY SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. SOME PEOPLE RAVE ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES IN COUNTRIES WITH SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. BUT I WILL NEVER FORGET THE NIGHTMARE THAT WAS MINE ALL FOR FREE. The Caps. were used for emphasis not to shout.

 





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