Texas Medicine Inbox: December 2015

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Inbox — December 2015 

I'd like to respond to the commentary published in the October issue of Texas Medicine titled "A Life in Medicine: The Greatest Generation," by John Pettigrove, MD. In his epilogue, he describes the dichotomy of having Medicare pay for prior charity patients and the fix it has put our country in. I heard similar comments from family physicians and others when Medicare first came into force in 1965.

Now, I must confront another disparity. As a patient, having survived two cardiac events, I feel blessed to have the coverage offered by Medicare and my supplemental insurance. My neurologist son, Bill Gilmer, MD, assures me that through his connections and as a retired physician, I received care in the stratosphere above the average Medicare patient, and I agree. 

I continue to deplore the national debt and the rules and regulations imposed by federal control of our health care system.

What might have happened if Medicare had never been enacted? Having all the benefits that my faculty appointments provided, I likely would be as well off as without the federal program. Others would benefit from the employer-sponsored programs that provide an equally paternalistic formula that absolves individuals from medical bills.

Now we have Obamacare, extending coverage to all in another unpopular entitlement program. Fortunately, this one may cave in to its own disparities. I hope that someone in a future administration comes up with a correct diagnosis and effective treatment for our ailing economy and health care system.

P. Ridgway Gilmer Jr., MD
Houston

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Last Updated On

May 13, 2016