Visit to Mayo Clinic

Dear Mr. President Obama,

As the news have been reporting in the past few days, you and the Democratic Party are back attempting to resuscitate your pathetic plan to reform healthcare.  I believe that most Naïve Americans believe that there is a need for healthcare reform, but how and when it is going to be implemented are the key issues.

Allow me to give you an example of the urgency to act immediately.  This past week my wife and I spent the day at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  My wife needed a surgical procedure, which was performed brilliantly by a consultant surgeon.  Mayo Clinic uses relatively unique (at least for me) titles for their exceptionally well-qualified medical staff.

After the procedure was completed and my wife was in her recovery room, to speed up the discharge process and shorten the time to get my wife back home (over an hour drive) I went down to the main pharmacy to pick up some prescriptions, which had been sent, by the nurse station.

The process is quite simple.  There is an electronic board, which displays the names of the people whose prescriptions are ready.  When your name appears to get in a short line and wait for your turn to pick up your prescription.  You pay for the deductible, if any, and the process completes.

Typically, towards the end of the workday, there are dozens of people sitting down waiting for prescriptions to be filled.  Around where I was sitting (got luck and got a chair) there were several older couples.  I would assume that the average age was around 80 years old.

One of the couples was from Iowa.  For what I overheard they are (probably were) farmers.  You know, the people that grow plants (mostly corn) or raises animals (mostly hogs) to feed Naïve Americans, and in some cases the world.  The woman had a portable oxygen generator.  Besides an obvious hearing issue, they did not exhibit other medical conditions.  At some point in time, a clerk approached the woman and told her that her insurance would not cover her insulin prescription.  The gal was asked if she had additional coverage from other providers.  The couple looked in their belongings and came with a second card.  A few minutes later, the same result.  The situation was quite simple, the woman needed a special kind of insulin (about $200 US) and the couple could not afford the prescription without being covered by their insurance.  I overheard that they typically get their medicines at a Walmart pharmacy.

By then my blood was boiling.  I was looking at a couple of retired farmers that apparently have worked for decades to get to a point in life when they need some medicine and are not able to get it.  The couple was called to the pick up counter to continue the process of figuring out how to get and pay for the insulin.

While this was going on, my wife’s name popped up on the display.  Got in line and after a few minutes reached the pick up counter.  For privacy reasons, thick Plexiglas separates each window.  In a very low and discrete voice I asked the clerk if I could speak with the person helping the elder couple.  I then asked if I could anonymously pay for their prescription.  The clerk graciously thanked me but told me not to worry that they (Mayo Clinic) was going to take care of the situation.  Not sure what that meant but made me feel better.  I just took care of the co pay for my wife’s prescriptions (under $5.00) and left the pharmacy.

Two things came up to mind.  Apparently Mayo Clinic via some not disclosed mechanism which might include plans from pharmaceutical companies was going to provide the medicine at a discounted price or for free.  Given this set of events and information that I have gathered from the news and talking with people, it seems that most of the times healthcare and medicines are provided to all people (not just Naïve Americans) that need it.

The question is, how is this being paid for?  I guess that in some cases, the healthcare provider (i.e., Mayo Clinic), the pharmaceutical company, the county, state, the US and finally tax payers (back to Naïve Americans) pay for it.

So the question is not the fact that people in the US gets or does not get healthcare.  The issue is better management so people without the means (are you listening Mr. President) are not faced with a bill (or insurance costs) they cannot afford.  One way or the other not paying for insurance or for healthcare when needed produces the same result.  Taxpayers get the bill.  So what needs to be reformed is a method for all Naïve Americans to have basic and FREE healthcare benefits that include prescription medicines.  If your staff of advisors and politicians cannot come with something simple to address this, move over and let others do the job.  A healthcare bill should fit in a dozen pages written with standard font.  You have to stop playing politics and drop the current bill that is written on more than a thousand pages and contains exceptions and payoff for special interests and politicians.

It appears to this Naïve American that you will never be able to fulfill the CHANGE promise that elected you to public office.

Yours truly;

The Naïve American

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