Friday, 4 December 2009

Hip pain. Single payer health care. "Penne" my dog

 I saw my primary care physician, the wonderful Dr. Kristin Paulus, on Wednesday 2nd December ’09.

She was sure that my intense hip pain was because of bursitis. 

I was able to see an Orthopaedic Physician’s Assistant today, and after a physical examination and x-rays that diagnosis was confirmed.  I received a cortisone/steroid injection.  Within a few hours the relief was palpable.  I should be free to resume “normal activities” tomorrow.

I will follow up with some “at home” hip exercises, and with a bit of physical therapy. 

How lucky I am!

First: to be in Sarasota where there is an abundance of first class physicians within a few miles of my home.  I cannot imagine how it would be to live in a rural area where the nearest Doctors are many miles distant.

Second:  to be a beneficiary of an American socialistic plan for over 65’s called “Medicare”.

Medicare is a decent enough system but it does not cover all medical costs.  So those of us who can afford it purchase supplemental insurance.  

In this instance I am fortunate enough to be a retired Episcopal Priest.  Episcopal Church retirees are able to purchase the very best supplemental insurance at a bargain price.

Even with Medicare (which is not entirely free - a deduction is made from my social security benefit), and my supplemental insurance (for which a deduction is taken from my pension) I still have to make some out of pocket payments called “co-pays”
Thus my Doctors will be reimbursed from three sources:
1.      Medicare
2.      My supplemental insurance
3.      Me
The paper-work for these three sources is astonishing.

Readers of this blog who are American retirees will “get “what I am writing.

Readers of this blog who are Americans, but not yet retired will have a steep learning curve when they retire.

Readers of this blog who are British will be baffled.  They are used to a much simpler single payer system.  Brits pay for their health care via a payroll deduction known as National Health Insurance.  Their physicians and surgeons are paid by a government salary.

All research shows that British “National Health” is at least as efficient as our American hybrid system.

And the British system is not bogged down by the expensive paper-work which is our American lot.

Thanks to good medical care my  hip pain will soon be o’er.  This would also be true if I lived in Great Britain.

Since I could not walk without severe pain, I sent Penne to her dog-sitters for two days.  She is a lovely dog who is quite happy when Ron, Myrtle and Lee take care of her.
She will be overjoyed when she comes back home tomorrow.

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