At the recent 40th anniversary dinner of the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at San Francisco's beautiful City Hall rotunda, a tablemate remarked "If the big quake hit now and this place collapsed, American health care would have to start all over."
I was on rotation, and a couple came in after a botched attempt at a home delivery. One by one, the baby's systems shut down. As instructed, I just kept adding stuff to keep him alive. Nothing was working. I was 26, depressed, and started to cry.
Each Medicare patient feels entitled to have it with few strings attached. But the truth is that it is one more tax-funded program. Just like the stimulus money. Just like the wars. Just like everything else.