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Throwing Grandma under the Bus

How many of you seniors out there are having trouble seeing a physician if you are Medicare age? Remember the architects of our current healthcare system said we are not throwing Grandma under the bus. That may be true as they are no longer going to let grandma get near the bus. In fact they may be removing the bus stops. I read an article last week that said it was all absurd, malarkey, hogwash, Internet drivel and nonsense about Medicare age patients not being able to get into see a physician. It is, and I am paraphrasing in their words, “Myths supported only by Internet strings of anecdotal stories.”

I am a 71 year old male physician. Within the past year I went into an urgent care center with chest pain. I was turned away from the facility because I was on Medicare. I said that it didn’t matter and I would pay for the visit myself. After all, isn’t chest pain in a 71 year old diabetic considered an emergency? I asked the attendant at the front desk what would happen if I collapsed in their waiting room or at their front desk. They said they could not and would not take care of me. I of course thought they were kidding in spite of the seriousness of my problem. They said that any care center that does not have an agreement in place with Medicare cannot take care of a Medicare patient without suffering the consequences. They informed me that the government, “Our Government” would shut them down. I checked with other healthcare professionals and they did confirm this is the law.

For all of you Medicare recipients out there, I suggest that you talk to your area care facilities to see if they have similar guidelines. After all if your emergency is life threatening and you cannot be cared for at a facility near you, you need to know the nearest care center near you that does accept Medicare patients. On the other hand, perhaps we should talk to our Congressmen and women. Perhaps it is time for American citizens to receive the same medical care received by our senators and representatives. Also the care level should be just as good with all the same benefits. Not only do they not accept Obamacare for themselves, they do not care if we do.

You will notice if you visit a physician’s office that many patient populations of physicians by and large seem to mirror the age of their physician. As us elderly grow older, more and more of the physicians that may have cared for us most of our lives are retiring. We cannot generalize that to pediatricians and obstetricians of course. The point being made here is that many elderly are losing their physicians to old age. Trying to find a new physician to take care of the elderly becomes more and more difficult. If you are elderly and cared for by your children, make sure they are also aware of these difficulties.

It may be disconcerting for them to show up with you one day on the door steps of an urgent care facility and have you pass away simply because our government does not allow them to care for you. Oh well, one less Medicare recipient and one step closer to solving our national debt. Also we get enough of our elders taken care of in this way and we can afford one more nose cone for another missile. And who knows, perhaps this one can take care of an unwanted truck on the Syrian roadway. For a couple million dollars, it will be the most expensive transportation you have ever purchased.

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