Healthcare, should it be socialized?

Last week I finally took care of some much needed preventative healthcare. I hadn’t been to the dentist in maybe five years and I also hadn’t been to the eye doctor in just as long. I got a coupon in the mail for a dentist in Waterford Lakes over in Orlando, it had a deal that included a cleaning, exam, and x-rays for $59 that I couldn’t pass up. So I went in and the first thing they tell me is they have to perform an examination on my gums to make sure I am healthy enough to have a cleaning done. “Hmmmm” is what I said to myself. Is this part of the “exam” portion of the deal? I asked. It turns out it wasn’t, what it ended up being was a scam to scare you into spending thousands of dollars on a procedure called Root Planing. They said I was developing Periodontal disease and that my bone (which I could barely see on the x-ray) was eroding away due to the tartar (which I also could barely see on the x-ray) and they needed to numb my gums and do a deep clean and then proceed that with some antibiotics for 10 days. Right? I said no, and the dental assistant no so politely informed me, with crushing fear, that the disease would only get worse.

The next appointment I had was with the eye doctor. I told him about the blurriness I was experiencing and he went ahead and did all the routine tests that optometrists do. He told me I was slightly farsighted, news which didn’t bother me so much until I started asking questions. On a side note, you ever get the feeling that doctors don’t appreciate when patients ask questions? Me neither. So I asked him what causes this to happen? He said the muscles located in the back of the eye, that are used to focus, either don’t get used enough or get used too much. This in turn makes the muscles tired and they begin to not work so well. So I asked him if there were exercises that could help your eye improve, he said there are but they wouldn’t help very much. He gave me a prescription and I was on my way.

So this brings me to my point, should healthcare be socialized? My answer is yes. Why? If you really think about the two situations I gave you above you will notice a trend. Money. The dentist Root Planing procedure would cost about $1,200.00 (after the front desk guy gave me a 50% “discount”). The prescription for the lens were free but the frames cost anywhere from $99.00 to $249.00. Just think about this for a second. The dentist is self-explanatory as it is, they used fear tactics and your lack of education in the dental field to persuade you into forking out thousands of dollars. Not only that, they bribe you with a deal to bring you into their office to begin with and then “cut you a deal” on the price of the outrageous procedure they are suggesting you have done. The eye doctor is similar but different. He tells me that the muscles in the back of my eye become weak due to either overuse (like staring at a small cell phone screen) or not being used enough (like if you already where glasses). Did you catch the anomaly? If you wear glasses, the prescription lens does the focusing for you, therefore weakening you muscles. Then your prescription gets stronger over the years. You are constantly buying newer glasses.

The point here as clear as it is to me, but maybe no so clear to the reader is, when you have an open market healthcare system the doctors can prescribe anything to you. There are no regulations in place by the government, and the doctors make their money elsewhere because the insurance companies will pay for whatever the doctor feels is necessary to prescribe. Which does not have a price regulation either. Or as for or the average citizen (like myself), who doesn’t have healthcare to begin with, it just costs an arm and a leg. That’s just the way I see it. They don’t care because they don’t need too.

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