Doc Martin, Doc Obama and the Sick

This year Ann and I have been watching a BBC show called Doc Martin. It is about a big time brilliant surgeon in London who is forced to take a job as the only doctor at a small English village. It is a pretty funny show but one that demonstrates what, in a microcosm, healthcare is like in England. Here are a few observations:
  • The Doc lives in a modest home where his office is located;
  • He is a curmudgeon but is truly interested in the health and care of his neighbors;
  • He regularly makes house calls when needed;
  • Everyone in his town is cared for the same regardless of wealth.
The show reminds me of what healthcare used to be like in the 60s when Dr. Koosman, our family physician, made house calls. I remember that day in January 1965 when he came to my bedroom and diagnosed me with appendicitis. And yes I know that, like Doc Martin, that situation is not relevant to 21st century America.

My thinking is that somehow, in the midst of the debate over Obamacare, we need to find a way in our country to better care for the sick. It breaks my heart to think of responsible people who have to declare bankruptcy because of inadequate insurance coverage. It also saddens me that people are denied coverage because of preexisting conditions.

Thinking about how, as a young and wild guy, I was forced into an assigned risk auto insurance group,  it seems to me that, like auto insurance, there should be provisions made so that everyone can be covered by health insurance. Seems like everyone in a society benefits when everyone has healthcare coverage.

Without bashing or lauding Obamacare, what would you like healthcare to be like in America?


  1. As a college graduate who, while working a job I needed that degree for, declared bankruptcy because of medical bills, I'm among the people who find that the Affordable Care Act doesn't do enough but it's a good start. In First World Countries, and I consider the US to be a Second World Country because healthcare is only for a select group, socialized medicine does work. The horror stories of the long waits are from the privileged who consider it a grave inconvenience if an appointment for their cold takes a backseat to a stranger's pneumonia. A friend whose wife broke her leg in Canada told of a shorter wait in Emergency. Perhaps that was due to the ability to see a doctor when symptoms start instead of crowding the ER with uninsured who didn't get a problem checked until it was an emergency? Then they were billed and the bill for ER, diagnosing, setting the break and a cast was less expensive that the copay for the follow-up visit with her own doctor at home.

    I’d love to see a system where there was a combination of socialized ad private medicine with tax breaks for doctors who spent time in the system, even if it’s part time so they can still rake in the money in private. Insurance companies would still have work and the people who wanted private care could still use it, but we all pay in to keep everyone from sharing diseases with all of us or endangering all of us driving with physical problems. There’s nothing as “nose in spite of face” as thinking that healthcare for everyone doesn’t benefit us all. If they can’t be humane, at least do a more intelligent job of being selfish.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story and your perspective Nani! I shared it on Facebook. I speaks to the concerns that many of us have.

    2. Thanks for sharing your story and your perspective Nani! I shared it on Facebook. I speaks to the concerns that many of us have.

    3. Thanks for sharing your story and your perspective Nani! I shared it on Facebook. I speaks to the concerns that many of us have.

  2. Even with great healthcare coverage I life in fear of losing everything to old age medical bills. I have been led into feeling this is a given, even for a middle class guy. LTF

    1. I hear you LTF. Ann and I often wonder what will happen when we are older and unable to deal with Ann's wheelchair disability. Guess it is why we have tried to save and anticipate that happening. Good reason to trust the Lord.


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