Monday, September 21, 2009

Youth Panels

Interviewing two women who were diagnosed with cancer while in their 20s, NPR's Terry Gross uses their experiences to demonstrate the advantages of health care reform. One of her subjects, after being diagnosed with colon cancer, returned to her native Czech Republic to escape the inconvenience of her insurance company's paperwork. Saying that she didn't have to wait for doctors' appointments, as critics of state-run health systems might expect, she explains why:
I really did not have that problem, just because I think everybody felt that I was young, and they needed to push me ahead of people who were just going for checkups. So I really did not have to wait any more than I wait when I go to see my doctor in the U.S.
The older people get, in Prague as elsewhere, the less likely that they are just waiting around for checkups. Perhaps this demonstrates nothing more than the shortcoming of arguing by anecdote when considering massive, complex reforms. But the idea of younger patients being pushed ahead didn't exactly warm the cockles of at least one nearly 55-year-old, politically conflicted heart.

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