My Brush with Obama’s “Death Panel”


EDITOR’S NOTE: I blogged about this experience back in August when I had my echo done at my local hospital. Given the congressional discussions going on about Health Care Reform Legislation, I wanted to revisit the post.

I’ve written about my experiences with the “Death Panel” insurance before. So far it’s been positive although I’m not relaxing or buying into their problem solving-sensible solutions approach just yet. I’m keeping my eyes wide open for any sign of involuntary organ donation or forced euthanasia or medical experimentation on me while I’m still living.

My very nice doctor at the socialist-leaning clinic wanted me to have some routine/preventative test done. I was surprised. Why wouldn’t she wait until there was a problem to intervene? Beats me. My appointment was for today at 9:00 am. Yesterday I got a computer-generated call from the hospital. The voice in the message sounded a little bit like the Daughter of Hal.  But I’ve gotten these calls before so I didn’t find it strange in any way. They have their stuff together at this state-run hospital. They remind their patients about appointments. How thoughtful and strange at the same time.

The lady at admissions was very courteous and friendly. It always gives me the creeps when people are nice towards me for no apparent reason. So was the other woman who entered my info in the computer. If I was paranoid — which I am not — I would think that all of it was going into some government-owned database to be used in some malevolent mind control experiment. After I register, I’m moved to a very comfortable waiting room. There’s only one problem. A flat screen TV is turn on to Fox. What the ….? How can a hospital associated with the “death panel” allow Fox to be playing on one of it’s state-owned TV’s?  I was sure there was a good explanation.

Fox was breaking for a commercial as I sat down. They announced what was coming up. A story on the union goons that had roughed up one of the tea-bagging astroturfers, sending him to the hospital. They really didn’t say it that way. But Fox did mention that the tea-bagging astroturfer had become a poster boy for the anti-Obamacare crowd. Oops, poor word choice, Fox. I don’t watch Fox, but I’m sure that never happens. (I lied. I watch Fox when they carry the Yankees or during American Idol season).

There I was sitting on this “Death Panel” sanctioned hospital waiting room and Fox was doing a story on a poster boy who is opposed to the “Panels” and is uninsured himself! Just like the average plumber/small business owner who wasn’t really a plumber or a small business owner. Or the “average Mom” who was really a GOP operative. No one can beat the conservatives in choosing icons and no one can beat Fox for irony. But there’s only so much irony I can take when I’m waiting for a “Death Panel” sanctioned technician to look into my ventricles. I got up, walked out and waited outside the waiting room for my turn. I was sure it was going to take hours before someone came to fetch me.

Wrong! Ten minutes later a properly attired and tagged tech came to fetch me.

I was a little nervous and I admitted it to this stranger. He was reassuring without being patronizing and got right down to business. We were done in about seven minutes. My “Death Panel” sanctioned doctor will get the results in a couple of days. It did look Ok to him, the tech-guy assured me.

I said: “I find that reassuring, since you do see a lot of hearts in the course of a day.”

“Yes, I do,” he answered, smiling.

“I knew that since you didn’t scream: “Oh, Sweet Mother of Science*, what the heck is this?!!!” you didn’t see any major problems.”

This was my nerves talking now. He laughed. Who knew that “Death Panel” sanctioned technicians had a sense of humor? I certainly didn’t.

I went by the waiting room area on my way out. The friendly attendant asked my if my experience had been satisfactory. I guess these places conduct customer satisfaction surveys. Probably something having to do with satisfying their clients.

I had one small complaint, I told her. I pointed to the TV.

“Toxic stuff,” I said, “you shouldn’t make your clients listen to that crappola.” I didn’t really use that word. I used the better known noun.

“Oh, I’m sorry. You should have said something. We would have gladly changed it for you.”

“Are you kidding, and miss the irony of the poster boy story? What would I blog about later then?”

I got in my Volvo Wagon with the Obama ’08 bumper sticker and I drove away, satisfied and relieved. As I did, I wondered if they had treated me so well because they had seen my bumper sticker on my way in.

Not that I’m paranoid or anything…

(*Oh, Sweet Mother of Science: h/t Will Farrell as The Man with the Yellow Hat in Curious George, my son’s new fave DVD. We’ve seen it 22 times in 3 weeks. Awesome!).

One thought on “My Brush with Obama’s “Death Panel”

  1. kyra December 10, 2009 / 7:48 am

    oh! i’m so glad you reposted. i love this! the whole subject makes me boil but this post made me want to cheer!

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