My daughter-in-law practices medicine in Denver. She tells me of an uninsured man with an incarcerated hernia who came to the emergency room in need of immediate surgery. They could not find a surgeon willing to operate on an uninsured patient. The emergency room physicians reduced the hernia -- a temporary fix at best -- and the man went home.
While this man and others struggle to get health care, I stand with my 91-year-old mother struggling to stem the tide of tests, procedures and hospitalizations. If many young people seldom see doctors for even simple preventative treatment, many old people become professional patients whose last years are spent in waiting rooms and labs, in hospital beds and inside MRI tubes.