Past offered better healthcare coverage

My immediate response to your article of Feb. 2 (Obama's Plan: Pros & Cons, Excellence) was "Here we go again!" Yes, there may be millions of Americans without healthcare insurance, but when was it established that the same millions of Americans lacked health care? The 2006 census identified half of that number as paying out-of-pocket for health care and the remainder received some form of Federal, State or complimentary care. The problems we were seeing had more to do with the increasing cost of care than how it got paid.

Take a walk back in time, the local doctor lived on your block or one nearby. He probably held office visits in one room of his home. The medicine cabinet was just that, a cabinet. Some medication he carried in his bag. Many times the nurse, or receptionist-nurse aide, was the doctor's wife.

If you couldn't pay the day of your visit, he would see you on payday. And, Doc knew when everyone's payday was, so did "Doc" at the drug store. Doc only performed a few basic lab tests. An X-ray machine could be found in a hospital and that is where one went if such was needed.

Bring your time capsule back to 2000. Several doctors practice together as a group, some are general practitioners and some are specialty groups. All have X-ray machines plus an array of other imaging apparatuses specific for their specialty. Then there is laboratory equipment, computers, extensive telephone and auxiliary equipment. All of this equipment requires technicians educated specifically for the activity. Add to all of that the office staff; a one-person staff is now as may as five. I do not know of a single doctor today that practices in the home. Do you? Do you know of a doctor's office with a single person office staff? Well, you might find a few out in the desert or up on a mountaintop, but there are very few.

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