Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Young Lady Doctor's Assessment of Obamacare

Are you productive, contributory to society? ¿Quien sabe?

She is here to give me the news.

It is not good news.

These are the words of a professional, someone who was told
earlier this spring that her income was just cut by about 20
percent by a massive government bureaucracy thinking far in
advance of the actions of a docile, lap dog Congress
considering a massive health care "reform" that ultimately
passed with all the attendant drama reserved for such
ceremonial occasions.

As young as my child, a very decent, very clean-looking
Cubana huera with sharp features and the slightly wild look
out of her eyes that announces - watch it, old man, this
person can think maybe 10, even 20 times faster than you -
Irma Aguirre, M.D., levels a cool gaze at me and says this.

"This is not health care. This is the government's control
of health care.

"Under this new system, Obamacare, you will be judged by
your productivity. If you are not contributory to society,
then there is no good reason to give you medical care.

"I can order dozens of tests. They won't pay for them. You
will go undiagnosed."

She shrugs.

Again, that wild look out of her eyes, something bordering
on rage, but actually cool and collected - anger, yes, rage,
no. No deer in the headlights is she. She is aware,
oriented and ready to fight.

Something tells me she will find a way to practice her
profession, no matter what the government says about
anything, anything at all. This one was born to laugh at

After all, some things are far too important to be left in
the hands of some silly government.

Asked if the proposed cut in Medicare and Medicaid had gone
through as first proposed, then embargoed by the Department
of Health and Human Services, she answered, "I don't know.
I think probably it did.

"You see, most kids coming out of medical school today are
working for a salary. They come out of school with
one...They keep lowering the payments they will make and the
manufacturers of supplies and pharmaceuticals keep raising
their prices."

One more cool and assessing glance at my frame, the shape of
my body, the texture of my skin. She mentions syringes, the
kind used to inject insulin.

Of course, she has made the diagnosis on sight. I'm a
diabetic. She knows it as well as she knows her own name.
She needs tests to confirm it, but, nevertheless...

Old men can't lie to her about certain things - young men or
women and children, either.

She is a doctor.

She shrugs again, her spare frame and expressive eyes and
hands communicating volumes about who makes the rules and
the way things work in the back of the store.

"The only viable trend is to join the very large

Earlier, she told us the true facts about the glorious
revolutionary health care Cubans receive under the Castro
regime. Doctors make the equivalent of $35 per month. They
demand sub rosa payments from patients - cash, American
dollars preferably, produce, eggs, cigarettes, anything
worth money.

There is no free medical care in Cuba, far from it, she has
told us.

We part friends, smiling at one another, both of us
appearing to be somewhat saddened.

She grew up in Houston, graduated from high school at a
place where I nearly broke my bloody neck trying to tackle
guys much larger and more powerful than myself as I gamely
played the game of ritual combat so mixed up with God and
country and religion and honor and duty - football.

It's almost as if we know each other.

Armed soldiers took her daddy away from her home in Havana
to put him on a plane to America when she was three years

It's like we know each other. She's like some neighbor you
see in the grocery store or the bank or the post office on a
routine basis. You feel like you know the person, but the
reality is, you don't.

Then she looks into my eyes one last time, smiles and says,
"I think people deserve better. Don't you?"

I bow to conceal the tears that spring into my eyes.

After all, it's a TEA Party and it's a late spring day on I-
35W at a resort in Burleson, Texas, a Town Forum on survival
and what to do about reducing the invasive powers of a
central government gone power mad, tax happy and
ridiculously extravagant with the money people like Irma
Aguirre, M.D., work hard to earn.

We part friends.

She told me the truth. She didn't try to sugar coat it.

Adios, Doña Medica. You make me happy I met you.

Your news, delivered with aplomb and grace, is most welcome.

At least, I know that which I face. What is coming won't cut
me in my behind, I assure you.

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