A Look Back on the Year and Why We Should All Be Thankful!

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On this Holiday weekend we should look back and consider what we have to be thankful for.

Well, the GOP should be thankful for a great Mid-Term election. They now have an opportunity to show that they can work together and accomplish goals that have been on hold for the last 6 years, including the Affordable Care Act. Will they try to repeal it or find ways to improve it for all to enjoy and benefit?

Or maybe the Democrats have a reason to be thankful. For if the GOP screws things up the 2016 is a gift on all levels. Heck, if the GOP can’t reach consensus nothing will be done again while they have the majority in the House and the Senate. If the GOP doesn’t get their act in gear and more ahead with real solutions, I predict that they will have a very difficult time winning any elections in the next decade.

We should all be thankful for SOME progress in healthcare, where everyone can get healthcare. The problem is that healthy young workers have to pay more and get less with higher premiums and higher still deductibles.

Should we all be thankful that a “smart guy” who was one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act/ACA thinks that we are all stupid and that’s why the bill was passed as well as that the politicians who passed it never read the whole bill?

5 million illegal immigrants should be thankful for the President’s executive action, which saves them from deportation and allows them work status, but does not allow them to purchase health insurance through the ACA. Shouldn’t they be thankful?

Minimum wage workers in many states should be thankful for the increase in the minimum wage so that they can buy their Cadillac and Mercedes like the rest of the U.S. population. Or should they be thankful? With the increase in the minimum wage will they still have their jobs and benefits or will their employers utilize more robotics and or raise the prices on the bargain meals, etc.?

We should all be thankful that the original predictions regarding Ebola have been reevaluated downward and that we have only had 2 deaths in the United States. We should also be glad that so far the Ebola virus hasn’t spread and the epidemic is not an issue here in the States.

We should be thankful that gas prices still seem to be going down and that more people are traveling this Holiday weekend increasing pollution. The U.S. is increasing their oil output through fracking, etc. But is this increase in fracking causing the increase in sinkholes and earthquakes and other environmental catastrophes? We should be thankful that the stock market keeps going up even though there doesn’t seem to be a economic explanation except for the governments continual purchase of bonds as we are going to start see in China.

We should be thankful for our continual involvement in assisting all countries who ask, even though it is our money that has been loaned to other countries. Considering our national debt at 17 trillion dollars, it will soon be over 20 trillion dollars. How do we even pay back that debt? How long can we financially extend our nations good natured attitude to always do the right things, in spite of other nations with stronger need to step up, ignoring the calling?

We should be thankful that “due to the ACA’ quality of healthcare is a significant driver of patient care. However, with the quality issues we have to change out approach to the way we deliver health care and accept the possibility that our doctors and health delivery centers may not get paid for services unless they are accepted by quality measures. Because of this ,will we see more and more primary care physicians transition to concierge type of practices where patients have to pay a yearly fee to access a doctors practice? Or will we see more waiting time to see a physician or just wait more and more to see physicians assistants and nurse practitioners only?

There is so much to learn from our experiences this past year. Our future is based upon our learning and applications of solutions, not ignoring the problems or letting others come up with the answers. I believe that we are on the correct road to quality care for all. But it will take some truly educated, creative minds to make it sustainable and truly high quality. It will also need a patient population that becomes educated, compliant and willing to care for themselves.

I saw this blog post in SERMO by Dr. Curmudgeon and Dr. Linda and thought that the thank you portion should be included here with some editing, That in this season of giving thanks, it is so easy to get lost as a doctor in all the changes going on in the healthcare landscape, especially regarding the ACA. It is easy to feel frustration with demanding patients and with patients we can’t cure. However, being a doctor is still one of the noblest careers around, and we are deeply thankful for this opportunity. We came to know so many people, treated the homeless and the rich alike, and stayed up all night with the sick and dying. We have witnessed the very first breaths a baby has taken in this world, especially my first-born daughter who I delivered— and witnessed the last words another will ever utter as he/she passes into the next. We are so thankful for this glimpse into humanity and the chance to help alleviate suffering.

We are thankful for all those patients who endure pain, novel treatments, and fear — some knowing that they are never going to get better.

We are thankful for all the innovation happening in medicine — and hope one day we can cure everyone.

We are so thankful for our colleagues who know what we are going through — and help us carry our load.

I am also tankful for all of the readers of my blog posts, those who commented, critiqued and enjoyed the posts.

As one of the leaders of our Tech committee I wanted to offer some suggestions to those of you purchasing gifts on-line:

  1. Be careful, if it seems to good to be believed, it probably is.
  2. Only purchase your gifts through trusted sites. If you don’t recognize the site address, don’t order. Great scams out there that act as Trojan Horses to get information to use to charge additional goodies and hack into your financial sites, banks, credit unions, etc.
  3. Don’t respond to the “urgency” advertised sites with urgency. The get the “best deal” if you respond in the next 60 seconds, usual has a catch. Be careful. Compare other sites and prices and add on costs. What are the shipping and processing charges? They are often more than the charge or the savings.
  4. Lastly, look at the site address URL Make sure it is HTTPS. The S at the end means that it is secure and make sure your browsers are updated as well as your Anti-virus and anti-malware are current.

Be careful, be wary, be safe and enjoy the Holiday Season and remember that we all have so much to be thankful for.

Doc

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