Machines need repair, and in time–far off, sometimes much sooner–so does your body. For example, what does it cost for

Brain tumor surgery?  ($43,222) or, say

Total knee replacement?  ($22,354)


Who pays for all this?  “Insurance,” Medicare, Obamacare–and/or you.

For more examples (data from Time, Dec. 3, 2012) use the DOOR.



•  Lazik* (eye) surgery    ($3,025)

•  Wisdom Teeth Removal   ($912)

•  Larynx Repair/Neck Surgery   ($11,643)

•  Lung-Cancer Excision   ($26,419)

•  Angioplasty   ($22,768)

•  Gastrectomy   ($30,487)

•  Fracture Reconstruction  ($14,989)

•  Foot-Fracture Surgery  ($19,623)


(…And to think that my father delivered about a thousand babies as part of his general practice for $25 each (feeling guilty when he raised his prices to $50), and never losing a single one.)

How do we think about this? As it’s going now, open your mind to “rationing” and “standing in line.” It will and must come regardless of how politicians twist their denials. And expensive “off-shore” hospitals for the wealthy. Why? There are demanding pressures on doctors–for many reasons, and the profession isn’t as attractive as it once was. And we certainly don’t want doctors who don’t want to be doctors, or are unskilled, to operate on us. Think of this as the problems associated with getting a new kidney. There just aren’t that many kidneys available. Or that many “best doctors” for that matter (you know, everyone in need wants the best doctor to fix things). Where are my “sources” for this scenario?  I confess I have none at hand. These are my own conclusions.

Who knows much about the future of  American healthcare?  No one knows, but the elephant standing in center ring is Obamacare. How we make it dance under the lights will determine the “downpayment” on tickets for entering the tent, or how long the circus actually stays in town. Perhaps it will fold its canvas and roll away for another show.

(One thing: I need to abandon this metaphor now and end…so goodbye!)


* Some definitions: Lasik – eye surgery in which a laser reshapes the cornea [L(aser) AS(sisted) I(n-situ) K(eratomileusis)]; Larynx – voice box or air passage to the lungs; Angioplasty – surgical repair of blood vessels, esp. those associated with the heart; Gastrectomy – surgical removal of all or part of the stomach.