To the Editor:
I got a few chuckles reading Mr. Arsenault’s letter (July 22) about taking our country back. He said “Or perhaps you want to go back to no Medicare, no Medicaid, pre-existing-conditions, higher premiums and higher out of pocket for your health care.”
Sixty years ago I had a wife and 2-year-old son. I didn’t make much more than minimum wage. Maybe $1.50 per hour. If one of them got sick, I would call the doctor and he would be at our apartment in an hour or less. Cost $5.
I had to pay it myself. No government handout. No insurance at all. No $500 fines for not having insurance. If hospitalization was required, it was taken care of by the city.
Fifty years ago I had a wife and three sons. I had a small house in the suburbs. I had a higher income and a very cheap hospitalization policy that covered nearly all hospital costs. If someone got sick during the day. we went to the doctor’s office, signed in and within an hour were taken care of. The cost was $20 and was out of my pocket. No government handout. If hospitalization was required, he called the hospital and made arrangements for admittance. If we got sick at night or on the weekend, we called him at home and got the situation taken care of.
Now we have a more modern health care system. The government pays for Medicare and I pay close to another $300 per month. If I get sick, I can call in and if I can convince the girl on the phone I need to see the doctor, I can get an appointment in three days, more or less. If that is not good enough, I am told to go to the emergency room where I will have to wait about six hrs. to see a doctor. Or I can cal 911 and have an ambulance take me to the emergency room and get see a doctor in less than an hour. Of course, the ambulance costs well over $1,000, but is paid for by the insurance or the government.
Costs of medicines go up as the government gets involved, lawsuits are rampant, etc. But, what the heck, we can be proud that we have a modern system.
Edward D. Mitchell