Personal lessons learned about America’s healthcare system

Greetings everyone. Again, I just want to thank you for your prayers for my wife Angela. We have been overwhelmed by your caring for Angela. And thanks to my fellow writers here at AllenBWest.com for carrying the banner while I focused on her.

I’ve been following the news cycle and it just appears that there’s no end to the madness. What I do want to provide here for you is my analysis of our healthcare system from experience, since there are those who hold a delusional belief that we need a government-run socialized healthcare system.

Let me make myself clear: I do not believe in the assertion that healthcare is a right. We are endowed by our Creator with these unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Man cannot guarantee happiness, nor life and liberty. These are individual rights, not to be usurped by way of deception by collectivists. We live in a great country where we are privileged to have so many blessings, and our healthcare system, which does need improvement, is one of those blessings.

Always remember the hero of the progressive socialist left, Hugo Chavez, got cancer, perhaps prostate cancer. He went to Cuba for treatment…he is dead.

Angela had a routine medical visit with her oncologist who found something resembling an aneurysm. Angela was referred to a neurologist. The neurologist confirmed that Angela had a non-ruptured cerebral aneurysm that was located behind her right eye and it was some 1 centimeter in size. Angela was admitted into a hospital and the following morning underwent a non-invasive brain aneurysm embolization surgical procedure. The following afternoon, Angela was released from the hospital, and on Sunday she was sitting in church. This, my fellow Americans, all happened within one week starting on a Monday. Yes, we work hard and have health insurance coverage, but we also have access to healthcare, a very important point. The fact that here in America we have such highly qualified specialists such as Dr. Mehta and Dr. Lima, who performed Angela’s procedure, is a blessing. As I sat with Dr. Lima looking at the before and after scans of the cerebral aneurysm I was amazed.

Not too long ago, the diagnosis of a brain aneurysm was a death sentence — Dr. Lima shared with me that was just five years ago. Since then, the brain aneurysm embolization surgical procedure has been developed. It involves an intricate process of going in through the groin area up into the brain, and placing small metal coils into the aneurysm and a stent, to stem the flow of blood into the weak area of the blood vessel. This is a clear reflection on the incredible innovation, ingenuity and advancement that makes our healthcare system superior. And yes, I am more than happy to pay for these innovations because they save lives.

I do not believe a Medicaid or Medicare for all system will be better for our healthcare. Imagine if there was a government-run socialized healthcare system, what it would have been like for Angela? How long would she have had to wait for a routine oncology appointment, especially since the focus is on more general practitioners instead of specialists?

Once Angela got her oncology appointment, how long would it have taken to get the neurologist referral, if there was one available? Just so you know, it was 48 hours later that Angela was seeing the neurologist…and then to be immediately admitted to a hospital and the surgery done 24 hours later? Something tells me that wouldn’t happen in a government -run healthcare system.

And if any of you progressive socialists wanna argue that point, I shall refer you to the Veterans Administration hospital system where veterans were dying on waiting lists. I rest my case. A government-run socialized healthcare system means that bureaucrats, not medical professionals, are in charge of the delivery of healthcare. This is why the Obamacare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is a dangerous endeavor, with unelected uncontrollable bureaucratic officials deciding healthcare access and disbursements. Ponder this: a government representative sitting down with my wife Angela with some confusing flow chart diagram and decision matrix to determine when she can receive treatment. In the end being told, we’ll get back to you when a doctor and the procedure is available. In the meantime, you should take more aspirin.

And it was a year ago that I had a similar experience when my cardiologist, Dr. Dale Yoo, after having me wear a 24-hour Holter monitor, and he explained to me that my heart rate was dropping into the 20s. I was diagnosed with sick sinus syndrome, and it was less than a month later that I had a heart pacemaker implanted. Now yes, I was nervous about that month, but that was better than six months or a year. But, the decision wasn’t based on a government bureaucrat, but the schedule of my doctor. Just think in the case of Angela and myself, if we continue with an Obamacare medical device tax system, would these critical lifesaving devices be available, or would new medical innovations be allowed to thrive? After all, you need investment for more research and development.

Some think that having an Obamacare insurance card means they have healthcare, but this is a horrible deception. There are many doctors not accepting Obamacare. Think about it this way, what happens to medical professional incentive if the government is determining their salaries and reimbursable rates? Our goal should be to get more Americans off Medicaid, not expand it. We should seek out means to expand use of health savings accounts and get our economy growing so more Americans can afford their own coverage, and not mandated government coverages.

We need portability and end the insidious practice of attaching health insurance to one’s job. We need more investment into medical innovation, not the onerous medical device tax of Obamacare. We certainly do not need more government bureaucrats intruding into the healthcare system determining who has access to what procedure, like what happened with little baby Charlie Gard in England.

Our healthcare is the most personal aspect of our lives. It’s not something that should be handed over to faceless bureaucrats. People like Bernie Sanders must NEVER be given control over our bodies, but that is exactly what the liberal progressive socialist left wants: control. We must first realize we must be proactive in taking care of ourselves. Sadly, in Angela’s case and mine, there are health issues that arise which aren’t reflective of anything adverse in our lives, just that our bodies aren’t perfect. But we can have highly competent medical professionals and innovative procedures that correct these shortcomings in our bodies. However, the best remedy still remains prayer, and we thank all of you for yours.

As you go to the ballot box over the next few election cycles, just ask yourself, do you REALLY want Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, or their ilk, in charge of your healthcare?

[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]

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