A Writing About Obama- seventh day installment
Obama is talking to Health Care 'stakeholders' today looking get voluntary agreement on reducing the costs of health care in America. Those costs are the single greatest factor in the national debt.
Here is what Doctors and Nurses have to say about his plans and where they think savings can occur in the health care system.
Excerpt from my new Book: 'The Obama Chronicle: Stories From the Heartland'
The Doctor Is In:
He is the English major who became a doctor at a major medical institution in California and forsook his first love-writing. In between patients he continued to write, and read one of my earlier books. He is playful, played with writing, and, he loved the English language.
Dr. X strongly supports Obama and his proposal to computerize medical records and his institution has already computerized many of its medical records. Dr. X works with a computer on his lap while seeing patients.
Doctoring, he thinks, is under siege—from hospitals who gain the profits while he performs the services, from patients who don’t understand how little the state and federal government pays for their services, from the drug companies who have brought off the politicians, from the media who put commentators on the screen who are being paid by those same drug companies; politicians who gouge on donations from those same drug companies and media conglomerates, from reporters whose papers are owned by the same conglomerate groups.
“As a doctor, I am the owner of a small business with maybe three employees. I am not Mercy General. I am a small business person surrounded by the conglomerates that gouge me and there is little I can do about it.”
Big government taking over health care? So what would change?
He is not sure, but, he likes the idea that Obama might make his job easier. The charting process would be taken out of the hands of some nurses who don’t fill the charts in correctly, who’s hand-writing can be a challenge. Dr. X likes the Obama persona. He is a professional, thoughtful person.
The nurse at his office agreed “Sure it is a good idea because many medical errors are due to the fact that clear handwriting is not taught in medical school. “So computerize, ” she thought, “it would make her job easier.”
Doctors generally have not supported wholesale reform of the Health Delivery system in the United States. That, however, may be changing as doctors have begun to feel like cogs in the health conglomerate chain.
Nurses feel the pinch too. While many don’t like doctors, (nurses do all the work, doctors get all the pay is their mantra) nurses too, feel overworked by a system where one nurse may have to care for 15-20 patients. Given the nurse shortage, nurses welcome any way to make the job easier.
Our doctor’s nurse told me nurse jokes about doctors. Here’s one.
A long line of people are waiting to get into heaven, and, one person, a doctor in operating blues, jumps the line and goes past every one. A person in line asks why the doctor is able to jump the line ahead of us.”
“Oh” St. Peter says “that is God, he likes to dress up like a doctor.”
Nurses, I know, since I worked organizing them in San Francisco, are finishers-exhibiting a brand of devotion to their patients that mid-westerners find familiar. Nurses see themselves as there at birth, there at death and the real work-horses of the medical profession. It’s true, and everyone seems to agree, nurses run hospitals. The life and death drama that hospitals are-is familiar to nurses-many, of whom are from rural areas and comfortable with the life cycle.
They also make better than average incomes and have more job flexibility than most professions. The scarcity of nurses in the United States has made the trained nurse much in demand.
The ones I talked to liked Obama. Those mid-western values he displayed were familiar to them. I am sure many didn’t vote for him, but, I think the generalization that most did is true.
Their thought is that anything that fixes what is wrong with doctors is a good thing. Their issues with doctors: God complex, bad hand-writing, and, being overpaid.
Obama might just fix two of the three.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem