Paul Taylor wrote an op-ed piece in today’s Roanoke Times entitled, “Healthy Living, Not Socialized Medicine.” Mr. Taylor’s article was in response to a previous article on the poor state of America’s current healthcare system and how we might look to France as a model for widespread health insurance coverage.
Mr. Taylor cited many statistics to support his apparent opinion that there is nothing wrong with America’s healthcare system. In sum, he asserts that many of the uninsured in America are illegal immigrants or are persons who can afford health insurance but chose not to purchase it. The only point of Mr. Taylor’s with which I agree is that many Americans are overweight and obese, which leads to many health problems.
I strongly disagree with Mr. Taylor. The technology and science behind medicine is at an all time high! However, the system is broken! I see tragic and preventable outcomes daily as a lawyer who represents the victims of medical negligence. In support of my point I will share a recent and personal encounter with our healthcare system. This past Monday, February 25, we suspected that an elderly family member was bleeding internally. She was in pain, disoriented, and weak, so we took her to the emergency room at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. She waited for almost 6 hours and was never seen by a physician! The ER waiting room had over 50 people waiting to be seen by a doctor – some even complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath which can be signs of serious cardiac problems. All of these people waited for hours and hours! Can anyone argue that the ER department was properly staffed that day?
Is this the healthcare system which Paul Taylor says is acceptable? By the way, do you think that Paul Taylor’s business interest (he sells health insurance) might color his opinions!