"Medical Care is Changing"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, November 28, 2014

How many changes in the medical field can we expect? And — over what period of time will we be confronted with the changes?

I’m not claiming to be a doctor, pharmacist or even an insurance expert. All I’m saying is how can we keep up with all the changes? Everyone wants to blame it on Obamacare but many of the problems began before that locked in.

We are given a prescription by one doctor then told by another that the medication can cause a different problem — one that could prove to be fatal.

There was a time when antibiotics were the medication of choice. Today, we are told they destroy our immune system and we should avoid their use. We are than given a short-term, stronger dosage of an antibiotic.

There was a time when the average doctor told us, “Take two aspirins and call me in the morning.” Now, most doctors want to avoid aspirin use, claiming it causes internal bleeding.

Millions of dollars are spent studying medications (big pharma calls it R&D), only to discover later those medications would be harmful to many.

Why didn’t the discovery show up during the clinical trials? Maybe it did and those people participating were harmed so we never learned about it. Why do insurance companies not all cover the same medications? It’s always a surprise as you pick up your latest prescription to find out what the latest coverage is. Want to find out how you may react to the medication — pull out that fat pamphlet that takes up more room in the bag than the medicine. Be sure to have a magnifying glass handy for the incredibly small print. As you scan down, check out the bold printed statement under WARNING. It will usually say, “This medication may cause a number of new problems which could include death.” Doesn’t this really make you want to start popping those pills?

Another pleasant experience related to your disdain for big pharma is when you are patiently waiting in your doctor’s office waiting area and a drug representative walks right in pulling their big cart of goodies. You can always recognize them because they are dressed in the most expensive attire money can buy. Doctors should make them arrive by appointment (using the doctor’s timetable, not the reps). If an emergency arises and the doctor is running behind, they should have to wait — just like the rest of us.

There also is a great variation in what surgeries are covered and where you can go to insure coverage. Even a simple shot or special treatment at the doctor’s office may not be covered. We would hope to be told the service is not covered but in the rush at most doctors’ offices this may not happen. I know there are web sites and pamphlets that explain what is covered. I also know they all contain double-speak, say one thing — do another. Companies change coverage all the time.

It’s always the insured’s responsibility to read polices each year to be certain the same protection is in force. We all encounter the same handicap while attempting to do this. Most are offered in tiny typeset (just like the prescription ones), to save them ink and paper presumably — or to discourage our reading them. Get that magnifying glass back out. If you do succeed in reading them, it will be with the aid of a medical dictionary to interpret all the words and phrases.

Without a doubt, the medical industry is surpassing all others for most expensive cost per recipient. Since the majority of patients are elderly, they are the most vulnerable and often abused. They become confused and fail to take the medications properly and often hesitate to see their health care providers.

One title associated with health care services I never understand is “non-profit.” I think Blue Cross is one of them. How could that be possible? I guess the same way one pill can cost $ 1,000, but if you go overseas to purchase it, it will be at least 50 percent less.

Yep, we are the best country in the world — that’s what all the marketing experts tell us. Yet, why can’t we take care of:

• Our veterans;

• Our Presidents safety;

• Our health care workers and patients exposed to Ebola;

• And saddest of all, our aging population who have earned, and paid for the right to expect good health care during their lifetimes?



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