The Risk of Government Management of Healthcare

Is fiction just for entertainment, or should there be a serious side? The entertainment factor is important, but some fictional books are intended to get the reader to ask himself or herself some serious questions.

When I wrote Reducing Medical Costs (At the Cost of Health), I wanted my readers to ponder the effects of the encroachment of the government into healthcare. The book can be purchased at the Killan Publishing website. If Charles Dickens had written a book about the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamcare), he probably would have started, “It was the best of programs. It was the worst of programs.” Many people benefit from this legislation, but there are many provisions that put our healthcare system at risk.

In my book, parts of our healthcare system have gone terribly wrong. There are conspiracies both by government agencies and by insurers. As a result, people are denied the appropriate treatment, and in some cases die.

As an example, I share the ethical dilemma a podiatrist faces in chapter 21 of my book:

As he scrubbed, he reviewed the procedure in his head. The hardest part would be to untangle the part of the tendon that had recoiled into a knot. It would also take skill to repair the tendon with the correct tension, but the tendon repair itself would simply be a couple of stitches.

While Dr. Toe was in the middle of scrubbing, a secretary came to him with a fax message. As the secretary extended the fax to him, he held up his soapy hands. “Not now, I’m scrubbing.”

“It’s a fax from Medicare about your surgery today.”

Dr. Toe looked down at the paper in her hand. He could not read the text, but did see the caption in large bold print that appeared to read, “Appeal Denied”.

He was shocked. How could the Medicare Rationing Board approve an appeal and then reverse themselves? James Conway needs this operation. With a torn tendon, he might as well be wearing a ball and chain. Aloud he said, “I’m on my way into the operating suite. Have someone deliver it to me when I have finished.”

Unseen regulators arbitrarily determining the course of treatment makes for exciting fiction, but what would you think if some bureaucrat in Washington were making the decision whether or not to repair the tendon in your foot?


About Reynold Conger

Reynold Conger is a retired scientist, engineer and teacher. Now writing fiction. His books are CHASED ACROSS AUSTRALIA, MY KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR and REDUCING MEDICAL COSTS (AT THE COST OF HEALTH). He has also started a series of novelas called THE RICHARD TRACY SERIES. Residence: New Mexico, USA Hobbies: gardening, animals and running. website
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