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HEALTH CARE: System is already under siege

Letter by Margot LeRoy, Gig Harbor on July 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm with 41 Comments »
July 30, 2012 2:20 pm

The article about the physician shortage and health care (TNT, 7-30) hit home in this household.

Early this month, I was very ill and transported to a Tacoma hospital. I was there for more than 10 hours. Every room was full, and on that night, the hospital was a trauma center. There was one doctor running around treating gunshot wounds, car accident victims, several dying patients, along with an assortment of patients with various other illnesses.

Staff was stretched to the limits with sick people pouring through the doors. The care was marginal, the doctor was stressed out beyond belief and it was a frightening experience.

Every time I hear some politician talk about how we have the best health care system in the world, I wonder where he goes to receive it. Fewer physicians adds up to more problems, with or without insurance. There wasn’t sufficient staff to cover the sheer number of sick people.

Telling my story to friends, the response has been more of a “Wait ’til I tell you about what happened to us” than disbelief. Our health care system is under siege, and we need good physicians and nurses very badly. The reality of this crisis is based on more cost controls by medical corporations than patient-oriented solutions.

My family has now issued the edict that none of us will ever be left without a family advocate while under hospital care. We felt that the possibility of major mistakes was lurking in those halls that night.

Leave a comment Comments → 41
  1. SandHills says:

    It’s only going to get worse. The best doctors will realize they can have enough wealthier clients to provide a great income without being overworked or second guessed by an HMO/national healthcare clerk.

    The big questions are, if even enough doctors from dubious third world medical schools – or even just PAs – will be available to work the crowded waiting rooms most of us will have to deal with? Or will death panels really mean many will just die waiting to get into a doctor’s office?

    So again the wealthy can have their cake and eat it too – tax codes geared to limit their tax liability to pay for a national healthcare system that they don’t need as they will have the best doctors on call anyway.

  2. citizendoe says:


    So do you suppose liberals will blame the democrats for the coming debacle when the market figures out how to provide privatized care at a higher price that only part of the population can afford, or just use it as one more Hate The Rich story, that they themselves are responsible for.

    Wonder how they will spin this to blame Republicans. So I wonder how I can screw up my life so I can get on the dole. Lets see Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, …. Were almost going broke now and and here comes Obamacare to take us over the edge. We can’t be broke, we still have a wallet full of credit cards….

  3. Simple, dont go to a hospital categorized as a Level 1 trauma center or even a Level 2. Go to a Level 3 hospital emergency. In other words, stay away from Hilltop and Harborview.

    That way you will receive good emergency care while not being thrown in with a bunch of deadbeat gang bangers who have been shot, stabbed or OD’d. .

  4. menopaws says:

    This is about HEALTH CARE……….Save the political commentary for the usual blogs……The system was broken BEFORE Obamacare and it will still be broken after………How about some solutions for that instead of the usual spin ???????

  5. SandHills says:

    citizendoe – the market already have. I doubt you will find many of the doctors the middle class see today have Harvard or John Hopkins degrees on their wall. And it reality, it won’t be the average general practitioner that will see the real hurt first – even though we will see more crowded waiting rooms.

    It is already a market system with specialists – especially the very best – who don’t see the need to take patients with a health plan that tries to dictate their fees. A government run system will just accelerate market value of the best specialists out of reach to many in any national healthcare program.

    Not death panels as such, but if you can’t get the best doctors when you need them, what else would you call it.

    What I am saying is that it is the working class that will have to absorb the brunt of any shortfalls to come with Obamacare. The rich are above it all with the cream of the medical profession at their beckon call.

    For the poor, the waiting time won’t be much different than their visits to an emergency room – and any degradation to the system that most of us will experience will seem like an improvement to them.

    Oh its going to get bad – and enough blame can be laid at the feet of our career politicians on both sides of the aisle in Congress. One side dreams of an utopian world of government provided healthcare to all, the other without any vision whatsoever.

  6. gidget94 says:

    I agree on all parts that have been said. Yes our heath system sucks and it is no going to get any better unless us the middle class say something. Our government needs to have more control over them so their not so freaking expensive so people can actually afford insurance. Our emergency rooms are overloaded with people because they cannot afford medical insurance so they go to the ER’s. So yes the medical staff is overloaded in the ER’s and because of costs the hospitals have to cut back so the medical staff are even more over loaded. I find our government at fault and nobody has come up with a plan to fix it. We have not had a good medical plan or insurance since the Clintons were in and Mrs. Clinton inforced her medical plan. The insurance was actually affordable, medical care was good and people were taken care of.

    I have good doctors through Multicare but I agree with the person regarding the ER trip, iit sucks,but all I can say is make sure you are dying when you go.

  7. truthbusterguy says:


    Wonder how many in the Tacoma hospital were illegals that where there for their free obamacare.

    Inner city hospitals will be soon overcome by the dregs of society. Next time stay in GH and go to the hospital there.

    Also, ask the hospitals why there are not hiring any people to help with the overload. Derek Kilmer recently asked that question to the Multicare and St. Joesph Board of Directors. They told him to look in the mirror for the answer. Over regulation, excessive city and state tax, uncertain future in government,and they can’t afford obamacare.
    Medicare cuts will break them if allowed to happen. Our government is destroying our heathcare.

  8. Free Market Capitalism – people need health care, people have means to pay for health care, and doctors will come.

  9. LeePHill says:

    The Affordable Health Care Act was about insurance regulation.

    Margot is a regular conservative letter writer.

  10. truthbuster? For profit health care/ insurance is destroying our healthcare.

  11. took14theteam says:

    “The Affordable Health Care Act was about”….

    The largest tax increase on the middle class in history.

  12. took14theteam says:

    “Margot is a regular conservative letter writer.”

    So in your liberal world view, that makes what she wrote irrelevant.

    More “tolerance” from the left….

  13. averageJose says:

    So, Margot, why were YOU in the ER? It would help to put your letter in perspective.

    Yes, it’s under siege…

  14. Our doctors are human. Not every intervention is perfect and
    some of the nurses spent their teen years on the street.
    We’ll never have even close to a perfect system and the trend
    of Americans becoming experts themselves distorts the system
    completely. Relatives butting in on situations they don’t understand
    at all does nobody any good. So if you can be your own best advocate.

  15. So in your liberal world view, that makes what she wrote irrelevant.

    In my world view (not necessarily “liberal”) what she wrote is incoherent and illogical. She went to the ER and, because her illness was not life-threatening, the staff through the process known as triage did not put her as a high priority.

    From this single incident she doesn’t make the only logical conclusion possible – that this particular hospital was understaffed in the ER when she went there – but puts this forward as evidence that American healthcare is “under siege” due to a lack of doctors. And that, due to this lack of doctors, they were likely to make life-threatening mistakes.

    “Conservative” posters have somehow linked “Obamacare” to this letter- which is even more illogical and incoherent.

  16. LeePHill says:

    Margot created a false issue.

    Anyone with more than a third grade education can figure that out.

    The Affordable Health Care Act was all about insurance, not doctors and staffing. The only reason there would not be enough doctors in an emergency room is the hospital’s desire to keep staffing down and increase profits…..even more.

  17. royboy361 says:

    For decades healthcare costs have risen at a far greater percentage than the actual inflation rates. Now it has risen to the point where people simply can’t afford health insurance. Companies are dropping health coverage for their employees or having to close down all together. Questions needs to be answered on why this is happening. The gap between the haves and have nots is only going to grow wider in the years to come. We might as well go back to Doc Baker on Little House on the Prairie and pay him in chickens and apples because that’s where we are headed. I believe the healthcare system as we know it will soon collapse because the costs increases are simply unsustainable.

  18. LeePHill says:

    Here’s a quote from another Margot plum:

    “The sheriff of Pima County spoke for many of us in America. It’s time to dial back the angry rhetoric. It’s time to start governing by raising the bar on civilized, rational behavior.”

    Well all know how rational it is to deny the birth certificate of the President of the United States

  19. averageJose says:

    The above comment is off topic… clearly.

  20. billybushey says:

    Possible ways to ease the doctor crunch (just food for thought, not iron-clad solutions)
    1) Better preventive care and community health and wellness programs to ease the ER crowding with patients that could have addressed their issue earlier
    2)Neighborhood clinics staffed with PA’s and NP’s for routine care
    3) Medical school tuition in exchange for guarantee of serve in rural or under served areas in General and Family practice specialties.

    Just thoughts

  21. Larry is off his rocker today.

    But, Obamacare does play into this. Hill keeps saying that Obamacare was only about insurance. Typical dem policy-making, ignoring the second and third order effects.

  22. Frankenchrist says:

    CT, what does Conservapedia (your favorite source) say about health care? I could use a good laugh today so please inform us.

  23. Frankenchrist says:

    Incidentally, Conservapedia is a young-Earth Creationist version of Wikipedia and every topic is described through an extreme right-wing psycho-Christofascist lens. It is the perfect site for climate-change deniers, anti-evolution lunatics and Republicans. I’m positive that the Westboro Baptist Church are the major contributors to this unintentionally hilarious web site.


  24. SandHills says:

    Billybushey…good ideas…still gonna cost….but too bad we are in short demand of inventive thinkers in Congress to take a coomonsense approach.

    National healtcare can be done better, and possibly cheaper, than what’s coming down the pike. Again, it is just too bad that it is a political issue rather than the nations health issue.

    One could also say that reducing obesity could do more to reduce cost than anything else…..

    ….we have met the enemy and it is us…

  25. One link makes it a “favorite”? Do you dispute the list?

    Feel free to go there yourself to see their take

  26. SandHills says:

    Ct…. If you are referring to conservapedia….I prefer the watered down version of Fox News to spice up my reality, this site is almost indigestible….straight coolaid for the weak minded

    But just like ultra-liberal coolaid, folk with commonsense need to understand what is being swallowed, hook, line, and sinker, by both sides of the schism growing in America.

  27. One article containing a list of self described liberals on FNC. You are way off in left field.

    On another thread I listed my normal media sources. That was not on there.

    Typical liberal reaction. Attack the source while ignoring the data. The lists showed no obvious bias, so no issue referencing it.

  28. SandHills says:

    Cc – not a liberal by a long shot, I merely asked if the link you were referring to was the one just prior to your post.

    So please provide the link you were referring to.

    And remember this…. not drinking the coolaid provided by hardcore conservatives does not make them liberal, just as refusing the liberal flavor pf coolaid doesn’t make a person conservative.

    It just shows them as a person of commonsense. The PC police, whether conservative version or liberal, are like the arrmed guards of Jim Jones shooting anyone who refuses to drink.

  29. The link was on a totally different topic. FC just spun this thread.

  30. SandHills says:

    Ct – but are you going to provide the link that spun you up?

  31. I get a feeling that soon it will be faster to go on the Internet and have the Web Dr. diagonose your symptoms, rather than wasting your time at the hospital.Unfornately,the web Dr.can’t write perscriptions so it will be back to Mother Nature to heal you.

  32. averageJose says:

    The end game IS single payer… Barry has said so. You can see with your own eyes and hear with your own ears him saying as much.

  33. LeePHill says:

    “Hill keeps saying that Obamacare was only about insurance. Typical dem policy-making, ignoring the second and third order effects.”

    Oh..what the heck….here goes….

    prohibiting health insurers from refusing coverage based on
    patients’ medical histories[3][4]

    prohibiting health insurers from charging different rates based on
    patients’ medical histories or gender[3][4]

    repeal of insurance companies’ exemption from anti-trust laws[4][5]

    establishing minimum standards for qualified health benefit plans[3]

    requiring most employers to provide coverage for their workers or pay a surtax on the workers wage up to 8%

    restrictions on abortion coverage in any insurance plans for which federal funds are used[4][6]

    an expansion of Medicaid to include more low-income Americans by increasing Medicaid eligibility limits to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level and by covering adults without dependents as long as either or any segment doesn’t fall under the narrow exceptions outlined by various clauses throughout the proposal.[7][8]

    a subsidy to low- and middle-income Americans to help buy insurance[6]

    a central health insurance exchange where the public can compare policies and rates[6]

    allowing insurors to continue to dictate limits on evaluation and care provided consumers by their physicians (“managed” or “rationed” care)
    avoidance of capitating or regulating premiums which are routinely and in accordance with this law, charged by an insurance company for coverage, which might make the coverage non-affordable vis-a-vis a consumer’s income[6]

    requiring most Americans to carry or obtain qualifying health insurance coverage or face a fine for non-compliance.[3][9]

    a 5.4% surtax on individuals whose adjusted gross income exceeds $500,000 ($1 million for married couples filing joint returns)[3]

    a 2.5% excise tax on medical devices[3]
    reductions in projected spending on Medicare of $400 billion over a ten-year period[4]

    inclusion of language originally proposed in the Tax Equity for Domestic Partner and Health Plan Beneficiaries Act[10][11]

    inclusion of language originally proposed in the Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments of 2009.[12][13]

    imposing a $2,500 limit on contributions to flexible spending accounts (FSAs), which allow for payment of health costs with pre-tax funds, to pay for a portion of health care reform costs.[3][14]

    Now…let’s see CT7 misconstrue this.

    “averageJose says:
    July 31, 2012 at 8:06 am The above comment is off topic… clearly.”

    The above topic was to demonstrate how Margot continually carries conservative water, no matter what the subject matter is. Sorry that you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

  34. LeePHill says:

    “averageJose says:
    July 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm The end game IS single payer”

    We could only hope…..

  35. Sandhills-are you being dense on purpose? I was accused of a website being my favorite source. I never made such a claim or statement.

    FC’s was off topic and childish. My one link to that site was about FNC.

    Why are you so bent out of shape about it?

  36. SandHills says:

    Not bent – just be clearer in your post. I too was referring to Franks post about a conservative website, in response to your generalizations about anyone who isn’t drinking the Fox News coolaid.

    My mistake to misunderstand your intent – ???? to cast a wide net of ad hominems????

  37. LeePHill says:

    CT7 says:
    July 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm Sandhills-are you being dense on purpose?


  38. took14theteam says:

    “what she wrote is incoherent and illogical”

    With that, I agree.

  39. LeePHill says:

    I notice that when I posted the points about the Affordable Health Care Act…..CT7 avoided any futher discussion…

  40. Mound- those things effect more than just insurance companies. Yes or no? When you charge an employer a surtax, does that effect the employer? How about companies dropping coverage? That effects a lot entities, not just the insurance company. Adding millions of patients and no new doctors. That effects just about everyone.


  41. LeePHill says:

    Someone doesn’t read well

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