Thoughts,Songs,Writings,Rants,Encouragements, and Life

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I was thinking about doctors a few days ago. The role that they play in todays society is a big one. The hands of a hundred doctors have saved millions of lives. And yet, doesn't it seem like they make too much? (besides sports stars, plastic surgeons, the government and dentists?)

The reason for this questioning is the fact that at the moment I do not have the wonderful package we like to call Health Insurance. I need it yes. To I believe in it? No! I understand that I have no control over my life and the circumstances that may or may not happen to cause me to have to see a doctor for a "split tongue or severed elbow joint," but I'm safe arent I? Wrong, no one is safe. I may think I am safe. I may think that my driving is amazing and wonderful and perhaps pleasing to God, and so His Mighty hand of justice wont beat me down and crush me to bits, (even though he could at any moment do just that!)

I just find it hard to pay so much cash for something that could or wont happen in my lifetime. I COULD end up spending a fortune on a really big security blanket like Health Insurance, I could spend my time asking for God's protection and healing, I could look at the rest of the worlds suffering and just live with it.

I am reminded of Clive Owens line in the film Beyond Borders, where he is having a conversation with Angelina Jolie about illness and sickness in some foreign country. He asks he flat out, "Have you ever just had the cold? Not popping any pills, not going to a doctor, just have the cold? These people do it all the time."

Seriously that blew me away. Here is a man in another country trying to fight for the lives of the dying and oppressed. Here is a man who seems to be bitter at the rest of the world for what is happening to the REST of the world. Here is a man who has given everything he has for the lives of others, not his own selfish ambition or want. Here is a man I can admire.

I understand that there are organizations known as the Red Cross and others out there fighting for the rightings of the injustices and pains in the rest of the world, but I am still not comfortable and probably never will be giving my money to a doctor in a white coat and that freezing stethascope that they must pull straight from the cooler just before entering the room, diagnosing you with some easily currable disease, writing something in sandscrit on a small piece of paper, charging you TEN bucks (if you have Health Insurance) and sending you merrily off to the local Rite Aid to get your quick fix.

One hundred years ago, did they have all this? I know we have progressed in this area throughout the years, and I am grateful for that, but what was it like then? What was it like a thousand years ago? Havent there always been doctors or healers or even Christ for that matter? (How many people were healed just by touching Him or looking at Him? Do you ever wonder about that? I do)

My question is this, did they (they, the people) call up the doctor or fetch the doctor. Then the doctor would grap his black bag, preferably leather, and pull the stethascope out of the ice chest and run on over? And he would diagnose little Timmy with the flu and then turn to the parents and what? No signature, no paper, no insurance, no bill. I bet they worked something out. I mean that is how he made his living, but I am sure every case had its price. Every different family had its price as well. Could you imagine living that way? By how much people thought your work was worth? I mean let's say I walk into a record shop, I am looking to buy one vinyl album. Billy Joel-Glass Houses or Jackson Browne's-Running on Empty. I have a quick listen to both on the turn-table and find that I like Jackson way more than I like Billy. And yet the price for both is 15 bucks new. (used is a different story though.) One is obviously better than the other, but the same price? Come on!

I may be a little of my whack right now. I might not even be making sense, but everything has it's worth. Doctors have their worth, but I wonder if we pay them too highly for what they do. What if they were paid higher to go into the world? What if they already are and I don't know it. What if they actually made a difference? What if we didn't have to have something to sign before they could proceed with surgery? I mean honestly? Money over a mans life?

One thing in the old movies worries me. We never actually see any form of payment when the doctor comes to call. Do they even get paid? Is it in dollars or in cows and eggs and chickens?

Health Insurance, is it worth it? To some yes. To me? Only when I need it!


Anonymous Amber said...

considering that I work in the health insurance business, I understand the importance of having it.
I do agree that doctors receive an unbelievable amount of money and I hate going to doctors anyway. But when you choose not to have health's a dangerous gamble.
Even the healthiest of people have things that suddenly go wrong. Car end up in the ER, have a baby, get cancer and need treatments. All of these things you need to plan for and be prepared for. Once these things happen to you, don't expect to get coverage after the fact. It likely won't happen or you may get lucky and an insurance company will approve you, but you will end up paying more than you would have originally.
Personally, I would much rather have the security of having health insurance, knowing that if something seriously went wrong with me...I would be covered.

4:32 PM

Blogger Benjamin said...

I know. And I am not saying that I don't need it or wont get it. IT is just one of my many beefs with this world and its rules and regulations.


4:37 PM

Anonymous Erin said...

Ben I understand what you mean. I too, think I pay too much for health insurance but like Amber said, you do need it for those rare chances that something is going to happen. (especially since you work in construction)
Unlike you though I do not think that doctors get paid too much for what they do. I used to nanny for an ER doctor and seeing what he went through and how many unclocked hours he put in made me see how much doctors do that no one else sees or even hears about!(not to mention how much schooling they need and how much money they spend on the schooling)
Doctors have to have the knowledge to diagnose a cold from the flu, a broken bone from a sprained one, a cough from menangitis . . . they don't learn all this stuff overnight. For all the unpaid effort they put into studying these thngs I say give them the higher wages. They deserve it.
Also, in the olden days I am going to go ahead and safely say they did get paid. Whether that be in a trade that the patient was fluent in or whether it be goods, the doctor got paid.
This is just my 2 cents.

6:15 PM

Blogger Eric said...

Let's look at what insurance (all insurance) is for; it's to guard us against what we can not afford to lose or pay for, that which bring us to financial ruin if the thing or event that is insured was lost or occured. So, can you afford not to have health insurance? It deinitely sucks, but until Hilary Clinton is president and ushers in federal heathcare, it's the best we've got. Or, you could just move to Canada. As much as I'm basically conservative in most of my views, I really liked the medicare in Canada.

As for doctor's wages, it's a simple matter of supply and demand. We need them, and there aren't many in society who are smart enough, have the heart for and willing to be doctors. Who wants to work with sick people around the clock, after collecting a collosal student loan?

Lastly, I'm not sure if "old movies" are a good place to go for historical research. It's a start though. THanks for linking my site on yours, now I'll get some serious traffic!

6:36 PM

Blogger Benjamin said...

You all make great points. And made me laugh once or twice. Har har. But I am not against Health Care. I do need it. I want it, I have it while I am working on the construction site (thanks Troy) and I also have it when I go on Trips to other countries (thanks Village/IDEAS)

I was really just laying thoughts onto "paper." I had been thinking about this for a few days and how it sucks to be sick and not get to see a doctor because of no HI (health insurance)

I know in the old days they got paid, that wasn't my point. My point was how much. I just think with certain cases the price should be lower than others, I.E. the point with the old LP's.

As for the old movies...I just wish they would show how much money they did get paid or how they got paid ( I hear a documentory in the works?) I used it becuase I was lazy and didn' want to actually google anything to find out what they might have gotten paid. I used what I had seen in the past and some good sensical logic.

I was in a very sarcastic mood when I wrote this. I was just being Ben and thinking outloud...thanks for all the comments though...really...I would enjoy seeing more of them. Even if they are on the negative things I post.

love you all..thanks for reading.

Eric-you welcome dog for all the hits that will now commence upon your Wonderful, Amazing, Canadianish, Lovely site!


11:18 PM

Blogger Dean Christensen said...

My question for you is this... do you have any idea what doctors make? While I don't have any hard figures either, I'm pretty certain that most of what they make ends up paying for the insurance that THEY have to carry to cover malpractice suits that come against them.

My guess is that most Intel engineers make more than most doctors. Or, as you mentioned, the totally worthless careers in professional sports, or other entertainment. Seems like that's something to get lathered up about.

After a post like this, I hope you don't need a doctor soon... or at least hope he didn't read this ;-)

10:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

good post ben. i think its funny that you write this while in a self-admittedly "sarcastic" mood while i think about this everyday!
docters on average a lot. 100k and up is normal for most (according to my uncle who is an OB/GYN). most doctors get paid for for coming to small towns as well, since the demand is lower. that seems not too entirely large a figure though to me. there are, as your dad mentioned, many engineers @ intel that make way more than that.
about insurance though, i have to admit i am even more pessimistic about it given the recent circumstances some of my family has gone through. we pay for insurance to protect against things that would financially ruin us (as eric said) but when it comes down to it, insurance companies fight tooth and nail to avoid paying those costs, as is the case w/my family in NM. my cousin has a debilitating disease that so few people have it wasnt named specifically in the things their insurance covered, so they get stuck paying arms and legs for something they thought insurance would keep them safe from. and financial ruin is the right phrase to describe what is happening.


8:13 PM


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