Let’s just get into it. Here’s what I miss about health “care.”
1. Doctors made house calls
Imagine this: You feel so crappy that you can hardly get out of bed. You have a fever, your head is about to explode, and instead of forcing yourself to get dressed and drive over to the doctor’s office, you just had to call and ask if he could come by. Back when I was growing up, that’s how doctors rolled — literally to your driveway. Regular house calls were sacrificed in the name of economic efficiency sometime in the 1960s as doctors switched to seeing patients in their offices.
Today I can get a veterinarian to visit my home and euthanize my beloved pet, but only under rare circumstances would a doctor be willing to come to my house to see me (no euthanizing expected). Even when I loudly protested being told to go into a germy medical office at the height of COVID and explained that I am immunocompromised, the best I got was a video call — charged at the same rate as an office visit. No exam, no stethoscope to check my heart or listen to my lungs. It seemed like a long way from Marcus Welby, M.D., because it was.
2. You had insurance for prescriptions that you could actually use
Nowadays it is entirely possible that if you use one of those ubiquitous prescription coupon sites like GoodRX or AARP’s Optum Rx or if you just pay cash at Walmart, it will be less expensive than the copay your drug insurance plan charges.
Let’s process that for a moment, please: Why should my prescription drugs be cheaper if I don’t use the insurance coverage I pay for?
3. You got to see a doctor, not a nurse practitioner
First, let me just say: I love and respect nurses. Nurses are the foundation of our medical care system. They are often the ones who keep the hospital trains running on time. But if I have something going seriously awry with my body, I want the person with the most training in the room standing next to me. And that is a doctor, not a nurse practitioner.