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The Doctor Won’t See You Now

Home - by - December 15, 2012 - 15:00 America/New_York - 11 Comments

NRO

Mark Steyn

A few years ago, my small local hospital asked a Senate staffer if she could assist them in obtaining federal money for a new building. So she did, expediting the process by which that particular corner of northern New Hampshire was deemed to be “under-served” and thus eligible for the fed gravy. At the ribbon-cutting, she was an honored guest, and they were abundant in their praise. Alas, in the fullness of time, the political pendulum swung, her senator departed the scene, and she was obliged to take a job out of state.

Last summer, she returned to the old neighborhood and thought she’d look for a doctor. The sweet old guy with the tweed jacket in the neatly painted cape on Main Street had taken down his shingle and retired. Most towns in the North Country now have fewer doctors than they did in the 19th century, and the smaller towns have none. The Yellow Pages lists more health insurers than physicians, which would not seem to be an obvious business model. So she wound up going to the health center she’d endowed so lavishly with your tax dollars just a few years earlier.

They gave her the usual form to fill in, full of perceptive inquiries on her medical condition: Do you wear a seat belt? Do you own a gun? How many bisexual men are you now having sex with? These would be interesting questions if one were signing up for eHarmony.com and looking to date gun-owning bisexuals who don’t wear seat belts, but they were not immediately relevant to her medical needs. Nevertheless, she complied with the diktats of the Bureau of Compliance, and had her medical records transferred, and waited . . . and waited. That was August. She has now been informed that she has an appointment with a nurse-practitioner at the end of January. My friend pays $15,000 a year for health insurance. In northern New Hampshire, that and meeting the minimum-entry requirement of bisexual sex partners will get you an appointment with a nurse-practitioner in six months’ time.

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» 11 Comments

  1. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    December 15th, 2012

    Huh? What? I’m only here because I saw a picture of Steyn. heehee

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  2. Diann

    December 15th, 2012

    You mean there’s an article too? You lost me at the picture.

    -sigh-

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  3. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    December 15th, 2012

    No more doctor-patient confidentiality-

    “So good luck retaining any meaningful doctor-patient confidentiality in a system in which more people — insurers, employers, government commissars, TSA Obergropinführers, federal incentive-program auditors — will be able to access your medical records than in any other nation on earth.”

    Creepy shit.

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  4. Tim

    December 15th, 2012

    This ain’t America any more.

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  5. Kevin R.

    December 15th, 2012

    The right of privacy is great for justifying the right to abortion but if you want doctor confidentiality in the brave new world you’re going to have to go to a back alley quack.

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  6. Kevin R.

    December 15th, 2012

    Black market back alley doctors, the wave of the future.

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  7. Annie

    December 15th, 2012

    -Doc asked about guns-in-my-home 3 yrs ago
    -just filled out the “bonus” paperwork, the tic questionaire was 2 pages 11 pt font
    -been my doc for 10 yrs, what the hell didn’t he know about my health/provider/pharmacy history?

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  8. The Doktor

    December 15th, 2012

    Welcome to NeoAmerica, my friends. Or, should I say Comrades.

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  9. Unruly Refugee

    December 15th, 2012

    Unless they are a cop or you are packing, it’s not any of their business to know if you are a gun owner. Only put down what you think they need to know. Answering their inappropriate questions will just enable them to continue to violate other people’s rights by asking them.
    Privacy is a right.

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  10. Dr. Tar

    December 15th, 2012

    Privacy will also be used as a weapon against you in the new Centrally Planned Health Care of our near future.

    For example, you want to switch to another doctor, but the medical record Commissiar doesn’t like you or doesn’t think you deserve or need another opinion (since it cost valuable medical resources). When you seek your medical records the burearuacrat has a multiple ways of screwing with you and denying you your own information.

    First, they will claim the records can’t be released because you’re not qualified to receive them. You’ll need to fill out forms and otherwise demonstrate to their satisfaction that you can be trusted with your own medical information. Next they can choose not to believe you are who you say you are and force you to produce multiple forms of I.D.. Or lose your request, or bury it request under the mountain of paperwork on their desk. They might direct your records to the wrong place, not release all the information or release the wrong information. Why the potential for abuse is near limitless and might be kinda of funny, if you weren’t dying of some condition that could have been treated weeks ago.

    Now imagine what corrupt officials will do with your personal information. Think who would pay good money for disks of information. And of course they will wrap themselves in the cloak of Privacy to protect themselves when you try to go after them for the harm they are going to do to you.

    In the new Centrally Planned Healthcare System control of information will be more valuable than gold.

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  11. Kevin R.

    December 16th, 2012

    And then Dr. Tar, how about if they can’t find any record of your records.

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